If you've been told that you need high-resolution esophageal manometry (HREM), it can be intimidating. What is it, and how does it help? This procedure is typically used to diagnose GERD and other gastrointestinal issues, as well as to determine the cause of chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and other digestive problems. Here's a closer look at what high-resolution esophageal manometry can do.
What Is High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry?
High-resolution esophageal manometry is a test that measures the pressure in your lower esophageal sphincter and the contractions of your esophagus when you swallow. Your lower esophageal sphincter, or LES for short, is a circular muscle between your stomach and esophagus that keeps food and acid from flowing back up into your esophagus. During the test, a thin tube with sensors will be inserted through your nose or mouth and down into your esophagus. During the procedure, pressure readings will be taken of the activity in various parts of the esophagus to determine if there are any abnormalities.
Who Needs High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry?
High-resolution esophageal manometry is recommended for those who have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or who are experiencing frequent heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and other digestive issues. It can also be used to diagnose motility disorders, such as achalasia, which is when the LES doesn't close properly.
How Does It Help?
High-resolution esophageal manometry helps identify abnormalities related to GERD or other digestive conditions. The results of an HREM test can show whether or not there are any blockages or barriers in your digestive tract, as well as if there are any issues related to how quickly food passes through the system. Additionally, an HREM test can also help identify problems with how efficiently food moves from the throat into the stomach. Further tests may be recommended to diagnose GERD or other gastrointestinal issues more accurately if any abnormalities are found during high-resolution esophageal manometry.
What Are the Benefits of High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry?
There are many benefits of high-resolution esophageal manometry, including:
- It provides more accurate information than traditional diagnostic methods
- It provides detailed information about muscle contractions
- It is safer for patients due to the lack of radiation exposure
Furthermore, because this procedure uses a thin tube instead of large instruments like those used in endoscopies, it's less uncomfortable for patients than some traditional diagnostic methods.
A high-resolution esophageal manometry is useful for accurately diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders. If you are having gastrointestinal issues and don't have any answers, talk to your doctor about the possibility of high-resolution esophageal manometry support.