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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Feb;8(2):101-7. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2010.212.

Advancements in the analysis of esophageal pH monitoring in GERD.

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  • 1Neuroenteric Clinical Research Group, Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and University of Arizona, 3601 South Sixth Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85723-0001, USA.


Ambulatory 24 h esophageal pH monitoring enables quantification of esophageal acid exposure and assessment of the temporal relationship between symptoms and acid reflux events. Analysis of pH monitoring is currently divided into upright and recumbent periods based on the patient's body position. However, in this Review, we demonstrate that physiologic studies have shown that sleep, and not recumbency, has a greater impact on gastroesophageal reflux during night-time. The physiologic studies are further supported by clinical trials demonstrating that gastroesophageal reflux characteristics during the recumbent-awake period are similar to those in the upright rather than the recumbent-asleep period. The introduction of the integrated pH monitoring and actigraphy data analysis program offers better separation of the recumbent-awake and recumbent-asleep periods. The physiologic studies and clinical trials, as well as the availability of a better tool to measure pH during sleep, support a paradigm shift in the analysis of pH monitoring data from body position (upright or recumbent) to state of consciousness (awake or asleep).

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