GI Physiology

Arrow In this section

We are now part of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and GI Investigations (formerly the Dermatology building), which is located opposite the Main Outpatients at MRI, between the Pankhurst Centre and the Grafton Arms Pub.

Clinical procedures include

Oesophageal Manometry and 24hr pH study

Oesophageal manometry measures the function and strength of muscles in your gullet, particularly when you swallow. It also gives information on how well the valve at the bottom of your gullet works. The 24hr pH study shows us how much time acid is in the gullet.

These tests are done particularly if a patient has problems with heartburn, chest pain and dysphagia (food sticking). They involve a small tube that is inserted through the nose and down the gullet.

For the manometry (swallow test), a small tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach. It is then taken out cm by cm to measure the muscle function along the length of the gullet. Small sips of water are also given at regular intervals to test how well the gullet muscles work when swallowing. This test takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.

For the pH study (acid test), a tube is inserted through the nose and down the gullet. This tube is attached to a recorder that measures acid over 24hours. The patient then returns the next day to have the tube removed.

You can read about this test at the following websites:

http://www.webmd.boots.com/heartburn-gord/guide/oesophageal-manometry
http://www.medicinenet.com/esophageal_ph_monitoring/article.htm

BRAVO capsule 48hr pH study

This test is done in partnership with the Endoscopy department. It is used to measure how much time acid is present in the gullet in patients with heartburn, chest pain or epigastric pain.

Following a gastroscopy, a capsule is attached to the lining of the gullet via suction. This capsule sends wireless signals to a recorder that measures the acid levels in the gullet over 48 hours. The capsule then drops off naturally after 3-5 days and passes out of the body.

You can read more about this test at the following websites:

http://www.diagmed.co.uk/download.pdf
http://www.givenimaging.com/en-us/PressKitDocuments/Bravo%20Patient%20Brochure.pdf

C13 Urea Breath Test

This test checks for the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) that is known to cause stomach ulcers. It is usually done in patients who have either had eradication therapy previously or have stomach problems such as heartburn.

A kit is used for this test, where the patient blows into some test tubes then drinks two solutions (one citrus drink, one test drink). Once the patient has drunk these drinks, they wait for 30 minutes then blow into two more test tubes. These breath samples are posted to a laboratory that has specialised equipment to assess for the presence of H. pylori.

You can also read about this test at the following websites:

http://www.infai.co.uk/products/helicobacter_patinfo.php
http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/helicobacter-pylori-pro

Hydrogen breath test

This is a breath test to check for bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. This test is done for patients who have stomach problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and wind.

For this test, the patient blows into a breath analyser (Gastrolyser) that measures the amount of hydrogen gas in a person’s breath. Two baseline samples are taken and then a sugar drink (glucose powder in water) is given. After the drink, breath samples are taken at regular intervals for 90 minutes.

If the patient has the bacterial overgrowth (where natural gut bacteria have overgrown into the small intestine) the amount of hydrogen gas will be high.

You can read more about this test at the following website:

http://www.medicinenet.com/hydrogen_breath_test/article.htm

Lactose intolerance breath test

This test is similar to the hydrogen breath test; however a lactose drink is given instead. This test is done for patients who have stomach problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and wind.

For this test, the patient blows into a breath analyser (Gastrolyser) that measures the amount of hydrogen gas in a person’s breath. Two baseline samples are taken and then a sugar drink (lactose powder in water) is given. After the drink breath samples are taken at regular intervals for 2 hours. If you are lactose intolerant, your body cannot digest milk sugar properly. This leads to the milk sugar being digested by gut bacteria that produce high levels of hydrogen gas.

You can read more about this test at the following website:

http://www.medicinenet.com/hydrogen_breath_test/article.htm
http://www.patient.co.uk/health/lactose-intolerance-leaflet

Contact details: 0161 276 4612

Anorectal manometry and endoanal ultrasound procedures are completed in the Warrell Unit, located in Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Contact: 0161 276 6332

Biofeedback therapy is led by Sr Sue Ryder, pelvic floor specialist nurse, by appointment only.

Contact: 0161 276 6093