Does my child have reflux?

Ambulatory 24-hour pH probe

The 24-hour pH probe study measures the acid that refluxes back up from the stomach. Medications being taken for GORD are usually stopped at least 24 hours before the test is scheduled to begin, and in some cases up to 5 days before.

A very thin tube with a probe, is inserted up through the nostril, and then down the throat and into the esophagus until it reaches just above the stomach. The probe will register any stomach acid refluxed up from the stomach, the acidity level and the duration of time for.

An x-ray of the stomach area is usually taken to ensure that the probe has been positioned correctly. Attached to other end of the tube is a small portable computer for 12 or 24 hours. During this period you are usually asked to complete a diary sheet on behalf of your child.

When the 12 or 24hrs are over, your doctor will tally up the readings on the computer, along with the history you have written. By studying all the data from the probe, against the diary sheet. The consultant can then determine the severity of your of your child’s reflux.

Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance (MII) pH / Impedance Study

Impedance study is now considered the gold standard for testing. It is Similar to a standard pH test above, except it has a dual sensor, instead of a single sensor. The advantage of the dual sensor is that, it can detect both acid and non-acid reflux, and how high or low your child is refluxing stomach contents up into the esophagus.

Bravo pH receiver

This is a pH probe that requires no tube though the nose. It is a small sensor that is attached to the lining of the esophagus, with an endoscope. Often this procedure is carried out at the same time as having an endoscopy (upper GI) performed. The pH sensor sends signals to a portable computer, which collects the data about the acid exposure over the usual 24 hrs. There is no removal procedure, the sensor will slowly detach itself from the esophagus, and with time is passed through a normal stool. This technique has been know to be used in children as young as 3-4 years old.

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