Bravo® pH monitoring is a capsule-based, patient-friendly test for identifying the presence of acid reflux. Information is collected over multiple days, which allows the doctor to evaluate reflux symptoms by determining the frequency and duration of acid flowing back up into the esophagus. The test is used to confirm if the patient’s symptoms are caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Bravo pH monitoring is unique because of its catheter-free design. By using a miniature pH capsule attached to the esophagus, pH data from the esophagus can be wirelessly transmitted to a small recorder worn on a shoulder strap or waistband.
Bravo pH monitoring allows patients to maintain their regular activities. Patients are provided with a convenient way to evaluate heartburn symptoms. The capsule design allows patients to take the receiver off to shower and sleep without interrupting the test. Additionally, maintaining regular activities and a normal diet during the test also has the potential to provide a more accurate picture of acid exposure, compared to data collected using catheter-based systems where normal activities may be limited.
With Bravo pH monitoring, a small pH capsule is placed in the esophagus via an endoscope. The capsule collects data about pH levels in the esophagus. The pH capsule then wirelessly transmits that information to a small receiver worn on a belt or waistband.
Once the small pH capsule is placed in the esophagus, patients can return to most of their normal activities and diet. As the pH capsule measures the levels of acid coming up into the esophagus, the patient will be provided with a journal to write down the times when they experience reflux symptoms and corresponding activities. With this information, the physician will then be able to decide if the patient’s symptoms are due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to determine their treatment options.
The disposable pH capsule passes with a normal bowel movement usually within a few days after the test.
- Bravo pH monitoring is contraindicated in patients with bleeding diathesis, strictures, severe esophagitis, varices, or obstructions
- It is also contraindicated in patients with pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators
- The capsule contains a small magnet, and patients should not have an MRI study within 30 days of undergoing the Bravo pH test.