pH-Impedance Study

pH-Impedance study is a special test to determine the whether you have acid or non-acid esophageal reflux disease, if your current treatment of reflux is helpful, and/or if any of your symptoms are related to reflux. 
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For the test, a nurse will apply a numbing medication spray into the nose. Then a nurse will gently pass a small tube through the nose and into your esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular hollow tube that connects the mouth and stomach. This tube will be connected to small recorder that measures acidity and fluid or gas presence in the esophagus at every moment over 24 hours. You may a pressure in the nose or a tickle at the back of the throat. Some patients find this makes them want to swallow frequently until they get used to having the tube in place.

After the tube is placed some patients will be allowed to go home and return the recorder next day, while others will be required to stay in the hospital for 24 hours of the test.

Some reasons why you may need a pH-Impedance study:
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain

What happens before and after the test?

Before the test, you are not supposed to eat or drink anything as this can cause problems nausea or vomiting with the tube placement. Please ask your doctor whether you should stop taking any current medications in advance before the test. During the test, you should continue with usual activities. A diary of symptoms (crying, coughing, chest pain, refusing to eat) helps determine whether acid or non-acid reflux into the esophagus is responsible for your complaints. Carbonated drinks should be avoided. The recorder should be disconnected if a bath or shower is taken. After the test, the tube is easily pulled from the nose.

After the test, if you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or go to the Emergency Department:
  • Tummy pain for more than an hour. Most patients feel fine after the test.
  • Throwing up several times. To make sure this isn’t a problem, try to drink small amounts of drinks like Sprite or ginger ale, or eat a little bit of popsicle.
  • Bleeding. Passing small amounts of blood (less than a spoonful) may be normal for 1-2 days, but if it is more than that or it continues let your doctor know.
  • Fever

Our Approach

The Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition specialists at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital brings help and hope to pediatric patients. We’re saving lives through innovation— leading the nation in developing new treatment methods for kids of all ages. For the 11th consecutive year, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has earned a spot among the best children’s hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

We provide outstanding care for advanced GI, and Liver diseases, including treatment of liver failure, liver transplant, total pancreatectomy with auto islet cells transplant.

Why parents choose us?

We offer:
  • A dedicated team of 8 Pediatric Gastroenterologists, and 1 Advanced Practice Provider Private hospital rooms to reduce infections and other complications
  • High-level academic research and skilled practitioners in all pediatric subspecialties Platinum Level ECMO Center of Excellence
  • State-of-the-science liver transplantation
  • Largest and most experienced pediatric total pancreatectomy, islet autotransplantation program in the world
  • Innovation to provide the best possible care to children

Research and innovation

Our pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology team currently conducts clinical and epidemiologic studies in:
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases in children, including newly developed treatment modalities, quality improvement studies and epidemiological studies
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Pediatric Nutrition
  • Gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional complications of pediatric cystic fibrosis

Locations that offer this treatment

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.