Characterisation of patients with supine nighttime reflux: observations made with prolonged wireless oesophageal pH monitoring

Renske A. B. Oude Nijhuis, Rami Sweis, Humayra Abdul-Razakq, Jeroen M. Schuitenmaker, Terry Wong, Radu-Ionut Rusu, Jac. Oors, Andreas J. P. M. Smout, Albert J. Bredenoord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although nighttime reflux symptoms are common, the presence of nocturnal reflux is seldom confirmed with a standard 24 hours pH study. Aim: To study patients with supine nighttime reflux symptoms using prolonged wireless pH monitoring. Methods: In this retrospective study, patients with typical acid reflux symptoms were studied using 96-h pH monitoring. Patients with nighttime reflux symptoms were compared to those without. Night-to-night variability and diagnostic accuracy of 24-, 48- and 72-hours pH studies compared to the 96-hours “gold standard” were evaluated. Results: Of the 105 included patients (61.9% females; mean age 46.8 ± 14.4 years), 86 (81.9%) reported nighttime reflux symptoms, of which 67.4% had pathological supine nocturnal acid exposure in at least one night. There was high variance in night-to-night acid exposure (94% [IQR0-144]), which was larger than the variance in upright acid exposure (58% [IQR32-88]; P < 0.001). When analysing the first 24 hours of the pH study, 32% of patients were diagnosed with pathological supine nighttime acid exposure versus 51% of patients based upon the 96-hours pH-test. The diagnostic accuracy and yield improved with study duration (P < 0.001). Reflux episodes with a lower nadir pH or longer acid clearance time were more prone to provoke nightly symptoms. Conclusions: The majority of patients with nocturnal reflux symptoms had pathological acid exposure in at least one night of the prolonged pH recording. A high night-to-night variability in acid exposure reduces the clinical value and diagnostic yield of pH monitoring limited to 24 hours. Prolonged testing is a more appropriate diagnostic tool for patients with nocturnal reflux symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Cite this