Which diagnostic studies are used in the workup of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Updated: May 23, 2019
  • Author: Marco G Patti, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Laboratory tests are seldom useful in establishing a diagnosis of GERD. Esophageal manometry and pH monitoring are considered essential before performing an antireflux operation. Endoscopy reveals that 50% of patients do not have esophagitis. The only way to determine if abnormal reflux is present and if symptoms are actually caused by gastroesophageal reflux is through pH monitoring. Achalasia can present with heartburn. Only esophageal manometry and pH monitoring can be used to distinguish achalasia from GERD. Therapy is completely different for the two conditions. (See Workup.)


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