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Gastroenterology. 1999 Nov;117(5):1051-61.

Esophagopharyngeal acid regurgitation: dual pH monitoring criteria for its detection and insights into mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

A valid technique for the detection of esophagopharyngeal acid regurgitation would be valuable to evaluate suspected reflux-related otolaryngologic and respiratory disorders. The aim of this study was to derive pH criteria that optimally define esophagopharyngeal acid regurgitation and to examine patterns of regurgitation.

METHODS:

In 19 healthy controls and 15 patients with suspected regurgitation, dual or quadruple pH sensors were used to monitor pharyngeal and esophageal pH. For each combination of the 2 variables, DeltapH and nadir pH, proportions of pH decreases that occurred during or independent of esophageal acidification were calculated to determine the likelihood that an individual pharyngeal pH decrease was a candidate regurgitation event or a definite artifact.

RESULTS:

Overall, 92% of pharyngeal pH decreases of 1-2 pH units and 66% of pH decreases of this magnitude reaching a nadir pH of <4 were artifactual. Optimal criteria defining a pharyngeal acid regurgitation event were a pH decrease that occurred during esophageal acidification, had a DeltapH of >2 units, and reached a nadir of <4 units in less than 30 seconds. Regurgitation occurred more frequently in subjects in an upright (32 of 35) than in a supine (3 of 35 events; P </= 0.0001) position and was more frequently abrupt (synchronous with esophageal acidification) than delayed (P </= 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Accepted criteria for gastroesophageal reflux are not applicable to the detection of esophagopharyngeal acid regurgitation, and most regurgitation occurs abruptly and in upright position.

PMID:
10535867
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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