Oesophageal pH-Metry: Should Meals Be Standardized?
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To assess the effect of a late-evening, high-fat meal on nocturnal supine gastro-oesophageal reflux, eight healthy volunteers (aged 20 to 38 years) underwent two ambulatory oesophageal pH-metry recordings, the first after a standardized light meal at 1930 h and the second after a high-fat meal including peppermint and chocolate, at 2130 h. Between 2300 and 0700 h, when subjects were supine, the median acid exposure time (percentage recording with pH less than 4) increased from 0.0% (range, 0.0-6.8%) after the standardized meal to 7.9% (0.0-17.8%) after the high-fat meal (p = 0.031). Similarly, the median number of reflux episodes increased from 0 (0 to 11) after the standardized meal to 7 (0 to 26) after the high-fat meal (p = 0.031). Reflux occurred after both meals, but, in general, persistent nocturnal reflux was observed only after the high-fat meal. Thus, the analysis of oesophageal pH recordings should consider the effects of meal composition and timing on oesophageal acid exposure.
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