Gastro-oesophageal reflux in children: comparison of different durations, positions and sleep-awake periods of pH monitoring in the same patient

Eur J Pediatr. 1993 Nov;152(11):880-3. doi: 10.1007/BF01957521.


A group of 72 children (mean age: 21.7 months, range: 14 days-19 years) with symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux were investigated by 22 h pH monitoring. Using a Proxeda software, we compared, in the same patient, the specificity and sensitivity of pH monitoring during 3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 12 nocturnal hours and 3 postprandial hours, as well as the influence of position and the sleep and alert periods. Results showed that all the short pH monitorings were statistically less sensitive than 22 h pH monitoring (P < 0.025). As regards specificity, only the 12 nocturnal hours pH monitoring was not statistically different from the 22 h pH monitoring. Gastro-oesophageal reflux was more frequent when the patient was awake than during sleep. pH monitoring seemed more reliable in the recumbent than in the upright position. We conclude that long-term pH monitoring (22 h) is the test of choice to diagnose gastro-oesophageal reflux because it included sleep and alert periods as well as different positions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / metabolism*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness / physiology