Tests for Infant Reflux
Barium Swallow/Upper GI X-Ray Test for Infant Reflux
These are not definitive tests because your baby needs to reflux during the test in order to get positive results. A negative result (no observed reflux episode) is meaningless. These tests can also find structural problems, such as a Hiatal Hernia, Pyloric Stenosis, delayed stomach emptying or Malrotation. Your baby will be required to drink a small amount of barium before the exam and you may not be allowed to breastfeed before and during. Breastmilk can neutralize the acid in your baby’s stomach and reduce refluxing. This is one time you actually want your baby to reflux in order to get a diagnosis.
PH Probe Test for Infant Reflux
A probe is inserted through the nose into the esophagus where it remains for 24 hours to detect how many times the esophagus is exposed to acid. This test is of limited usefulness because not every child refluxes every day, and it’s very possible to get false negative (or positive) results with this test.
Upper GI Endoscopy and Esophageal Biopsy Test for Infant Reflux
This involves sedating the baby and placing a flexible plastic tube with a camera through the mouth, down the throat, esophagus and into the stomach. The walls of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum are checked for inflammation and a small piece of tissue is removed for biopsy. The entire test takes about 15 minutes. You can find more information on reflux testing at www.healthsystem.virginia.edu.
More information about infant reflux:
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