Glass and antimony electrodes for oesophageal pH monitoring in distressed infants: How different are they?

Yvan Vandenplas, Badriul Hegar Syarif, Marc Verghote, Bruno Hauser, Leonard Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Although antimony electrodes are by far the most popular for performing oesophageal pH monitoring, there are few data comparing the accuracy of glass and antimony electrodes. Therefore, we tested the accuracy of both electrodes in the prediction of oesophagitis. Method: pH monitoring using a glass electrode and an antimony electrode was performed in 60 distressed infants, aged between 1 and 6 months. An upper endoscopy with oesophageal biopsies was also performed in all infants. Results: A reflux index (percentage of the total time with pH < 4.0) greater than 5% was considered to be abnormal and was found in 40/60 patients. Histological oesophagitis was present in 26/60 infants. The reflux index was > 5% with the glass electrode in 18/26 children with histological oesophagitis and with the antimony electrode in 10/26 children with histological oesophagitis. Histology of the oesophagus was normal in 22/40 children with abnormal pH monitoring. With the glass electrode, the mean reflux index in the group with oesophagitis was significantly higher than in the group with normal histology, although there was an important overlap. With the antimony electrode, the mean reflux indices in the groups with and without oesophagitis were not different. Regarding normal/abnormal, there was discordance in 35% of the pH studies. No reflux index could be related to a clinically useful sensitivity and specificity to predict oesophagitis. Conclusion: The reflux index does not accurately predict oesophagitis. Oesophageal pH monitoring and endoscopy provide complementary information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1330
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Oesophagitis
  • pH monitoring
  • pH-metry


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