Review article: Intragastric and oesophageal pH monitoring in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease with acid suppressive therapy is based on the principle that effective control of intragastric pH (a marker of acid control) leads to healing of erosive oesophagitis and relief of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease-associated symptoms. Most patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be managed successfully with current antisecretory therapy. In difficult-to-treat patients, oesophageal pH monitoring is a useful technique to assess pH control and to investigate the association of reflux with refractory symptoms. Intragastric pH monitoring allows direct assessment of acid suppression achieved with an agent, and is the most useful for head-to-head comparisons of antisecretory therapies, evaluating variability in individual gastric pH response, assessing dose timing and food effect, and determining alternate dosing strategies; as such, it is useful in the research laboratory, and may be useful clinically to guide clinicians in dose titration and in evaluating the effect of switching agents. This article reviews these and other uses of these tests in an effort to explore the question of how to optimally use oesophageal pH monitoring and gastric pH monitoring in patient management.