Gastroenterologists use pH probe studies to diagnose, and treat chronic acid reflux by implanting a thin tube into the esophagus. Over 24 hours, the frequency or acid reflux into the esophagus can be evaluated objectively. Typically, pH probe studies are used to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD or to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, such as heartburn or chronic cough.
Who Needs a pH Probe Study?
pH probe studies are typically used to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD or to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, including:
- Heartburn , mainly in patients who have had a routine endoscopy, yet failed medical treatment, or in cases which the patient may be considered as a candidate for surgery
- Uncommon symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), such as chest pain, persistent dry cough or chronic cough, asthma and other throat symptoms
pH probe studies may also be done to assess the effectiveness of current treatments for heartburn or reflux. It is often advised for those whose symptoms are not improved by medications.