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X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging used to diagnose conditions in the chest, bone, sinuses, skull, or spine. It is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones and can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases.
Digestive Studies Utilizing Computer-Aided Technology Include:
Esophageal pH study - measuring reflux acids in the esophagus, for patients suffering from heartburn or erosive esophagitis.
Colon motility/transit studies - measuring the movement of waste through the colon with dye, for patients presenting with constipation
Endoscopy is a visual exam of looking inside the body using an endoscope, a tiny flexible light tube.
Esophageal pH and pharyngeal pH monitoring - 48 Hour measures acid exposure in the upper and lower esophagus, helping to rule out other causes and is the most objective way to detect and assess the severity of reflux disease Pharyngeal pH monitoring detects acid in the pharynx, which is a good surrogate for aspiration event
Impedance has helped physicians gain a better understanding of the role non-acidic things refluxing from the stomach into the esophagus, and even beyond, into the lungs. Until recently physicians had only the pH test to detect reflux, thus were measuring only acid.
Laryngoscopy, like endoscopy of the esophagus, can identify injury to the larynx caused by acid. Typical findings include erythema, ulcers, swelling, nodules, etc. None of these lesions pinpoints reflux but laryngoscopy remains an important test in evaluating patients with possible reflux laryngitis.
Manometry evaluates the esophagus’ muscular contractions – their amplitude and wave action – and the pressure, location and relaxation of the LES. Surgeons need to know whether the motility of the esophagus is poor when considering a fundoplication.
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