Esophageal impedance

What is an esophageal impedance test?

An esophageal impedance test is an outpatient test that measures the amount of acid reflux or non-acid reflux rising into your esophagus in a typical 24-hour period. The test helps your doctor determine if your symptoms are due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Before the procedure, you should have nothing to eat or drink for four hours. An empty stomach allows for the best and safest conditions for this test. You can continue taking most medicines, but you should also inform your doctor of all your current medications. Plan to wear comfortable clothing the day of your procedure.

During the procedure, numbing gel will be placed in your nostril. Then a thin, flexible tube will be gently inserted into your nostril and guided into your esophagus. This first tube will measure pressure in your esophagus and identify to precise location for placement of a second tube. After withdrawing the first tube, your clinician will insert a another very thin, flexible tube connected to a data recorder. This tube will be secured to your nostril, and you’ll wear it and the data recorder overnight.The procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

After the procedure, you may drive yourself home. Throughout the 24-hour period of the esophageal impedance test, the data recorder will collect and store information. Then you will return to the hospital and have the tube and data recorder removed. The information will be reviewed by a doctor.

Complications with this procedure are rare, although you may have some nasal irritation during or after the procedure.