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Esophagus Tests

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Esophageal manometry
  • The pressure of the muscle contractions that move food down the esophagus is normal.
  • The muscle contractions follow a normal pattern down the esophagus.
  • The pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is normal.
  • Muscle spasms are present in the esophagus.
  • Contractions along the esophagus are weak or uncoordinated.
  • The LES pressure is low.
  • The LES pressure is high and fails to relax after you swallow.

Many conditions can affect the results of these tests. Your doctor will discuss your results with you in relation to your symptoms and past health.

What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:

  • You take certain medicines. Make sure you follow your doctor's instructions about which medicines to stop or to take before and during testing.
  • You smoke or you drink alcohol within 24 hours of the test.
  • You eat or drink within 8 hours of the test, unless you are having prolonged pH monitoring at home. If you are having prolonged pH monitoring, try to eat normally and do your normal activities.
  • The wireless pH capsule is detached before the end of the recording time (usually 24 or 48 hours).

What To Think About

Other Works Consulted

  • American Gastroenterological Association (2005). AGA technical review on the clinical use of esophageal manometry. Gastroenterology, 128(1): 209-224.

  • American Gastroenterological Association (2008). American Gastroenterological Association medical position statement on the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterology, 135(4): 1383-1391.

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Hirano I, et al. (2007). ACG practice guidelines: Esophageal reflux testing. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 102(3): 668-685.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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