Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal Manometry is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Esophageal function study, esophageal acid study (Tuttle test), acid reflux test, Bernstein test (acid perfusion), esophageal motility study.

To evaluate potential ineffectiveness of the esophageal muscle and structure in swallowing, vomiting, and regurgitation in diseases such as scleroderma, infection, and gastric esophageal reflux.

Patient Preparation
There are no activity restrictions unless by medical direction. Under medical direction, the patient should withhold medications for 24 hr before the study. Instruct the patient to fast and restrict fluids for 6 hr prior to the procedure to reduce the risk of aspiration related to nausea and vomiting. Patient may be required to be NPO after midnight. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has fasting guidelines for risk levels according to patient status. More information can be located at

Regarding the patient's risk for bleeding, the patient should be instructed to avoid taking natural products and medications with known anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or thrombolytic properties or to reduce dosage, as ordered, prior to the procedure. Number of days to withhold medication is dependent on the type of anticoagulant. Protocols may vary among facilities.

Ensure that barium studies were performed more than 4 days before the esophageal manometry (EM).

Normal Findings

  • Acid clearing: Fewer than 10 swallows
  • Acid perfusion: No gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Acid reflux: No regurgitation into the esophagus
  • Bernstein test: Negative (no discomfort or pain following instillation of hydrochloric acid)
  • Esophageal secretions: pH 5 to 6
  • Esophageal sphincter pressure: 10 to 20 mm Hg.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

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