Objective: To determine the correlation between massive gastroesophageal reflux (GER) on barium studies and pathologic acid reflux on 24-h pH monitoring. Methods: A search of hospital records from January 1997 to January 2001 revealed 28 patients who underwent both barium studies and 24-h pH monitoring. The radiologic reports were reviewed to determine the presence and degree of GER. Patients with reflux to or above the thoracic inlet either spontaneously or with provocative maneuvers in the recumbent position were classified as having massive reflux, whereas the remaining patients with reflux below the thoracic inlet or no reflux comprised the control group. The pH monitoring reports were also reviewed to determine if pathologic acid reflux was present in the recumbent position. The findings on these studies were then compared to determine the frequency of pathologic acid reflux in the recumbent position on pH monitoring in patients with massive reflux on barium studies compared with the control group. Results: Massive GER was observed on barium studies in 11 (39%) of the 28 patients and reflux below the thoracic inlet or no reflux in the remaining 17 patients (61%) who comprised the control group. All 11 patients (100%) with massive reflux on barium studies had pathologic acid reflux on pH monitoring in the recumbent position compared with six (35%) of 17 patients in the control group (P=0.0009). The pH in the distal esophagus on pH monitoring was less than 4.0 for 13.1% of the recumbent period for patients with massive GER on barium studies compared with 6.2% of the recumbent period for the control group (P=0.0076). Conclusion: Although 24-h pH monitoring remains the gold standard for the detection of GER, our experience suggests that patients with massive reflux on barium studies are so likely to have pathologic acid reflux in the recumbent position that these individuals can be further evaluated and treated for their gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) without need for pH monitoring.
- Barium studies
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- PH monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging