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pH monitoring: The gold standard in detection of gastrointestinal reflux disease?

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most frequent benign diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and in some cases the diagnosis may be very difficult. There are many diagnostic procedures but none of them could prove or definitely exclude the disease. The 24-h pH-monitoring is the “gold standard” for detection of gastroesophageal reflux and in many patients the reflux correlates with the GERD. The evaluation of a diagnostic method has to be done in a similar manner to the evaluation of therapeutic study (phase 1 to phase 4). For the definition of the “gold standard” for detection of a special diagnosis (e.g., the gastroesophageal reflux disease), the results of phase 3 studies for different methods had to be compared. The method with the best values for sensitivity and specificity is yet to be discovered. Until now, pH monitoring has been the gold standard for the diagnosis of GERD. However, there are many problems connected with using this method in clinical practice.

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Correspondence to E. Bollschweiler MD, PhD.

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Bollschweiler, E., Feussner, H., Hölscher, A.H. et al. pH monitoring: The gold standard in detection of gastrointestinal reflux disease?. Dysphagia 8, 118–121 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02266991

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Key words

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Diagnosis
  • pH monitoring
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders