Measurement of esophageal reflux by scintigraphy

Dig Dis Sci. 1984 Nov;29(11):977-82. doi: 10.1007/BF01311246.


Gastroesophageal reflux and clearance of the refluxed material can be measured by plotting a time-activity curve from an esophageal area of interest after 1 mCi of 99mTc sulfur colloid is placed in the stomach. Control subjects do not have peaks exceeding a value twice that of the baseline count levels. Reflux patients exceed this value, either spontaneously or after Valsalva maneuvers. This technique has a sensitivity which is greater than that of barium and equal to the sensitivity of a pH probe in patients with both moderate and severe reflux. Scintigraphic reflux was shown in 62% of moderate refluxes and 85% of those with severe reflux as defined clinically. Clearing of the refluxed material occurs rapidly in most patients if measured by this scintigraphic technique. This test can be performed rapidly with minimal radiation exposure and is noninvasive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging