June 1993

Prolonged pH Monitoring Is of Limited Usefulness for Gastroesophageal Reflux

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Ferreira, Lohouès, and Roy), Surgery (Drs Bensoussan and Yazbeck), and Pathology (Dr Brochu), Hôpital Sainte-Justine and University of Montreal (Quebec).

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(6):662-664. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160300068025

• Objective.  —To assess the diagnostic value of pH monitoring.

Design.  —A prospective study.

Setting.  —Pediatric university hospital serving as a secondary and tertiary referral center.

Participants.  —Thirty-eight infants, aged 1 to 12 months, and 26 children, aged 13 months to 18 years, admitted during a 2-year period because of clinically significant gastroesophageal reflux (GER).

Interventions.  —Prolonged (20-hour) pH monitoring as well as endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus were carried out in all patients who, on the basis of clinical data, were classified as having mild, moderate, or severe GER disease.

Results.  —In the infant group, results of prolonged pH monitoring were abnormal in 34 (89.5%). In the older group, results were abnormal in less than half (11 [42.3%]) of the cases. In both groups, pH monitoring data did not correlate with the severity of GER disease or of esophagitis. Severity of GER disease was not predictive of esophagitis.

Conclusions.  —(1) Endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus should be the first procedures whenever there are clinical findings of moderate to severe GER disease. (2) Monitoring of pH should be restricted to those patients without a clear-cut history of GER disease.(AJDC. 1993;147:662-664)