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

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

Plain radiographic findings are not useful in evaluating patients for GERD, but they are helpful in evaluating the pulmonary status and basic anatomy. Chest images may demonstrate a large hiatal hernia, but small hernias can be easily missed. Upper GI contrast-enhanced studies are the initial radiologic procedure of choice in the workup of the patient in whom GERD is suggested. Esophageal inflammatory and neoplastic diseases are better detected with double-contrast techniques. Conversely, single-contrast techniques are more sensitive for structural defects such as hiatal hernias and strictures or esophageal rings. [27]


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