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Manometry

By

Jonathan Gotfried

, MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Last full review/revision Apr 2021| Content last modified Apr 2021
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Manometry is measurement of pressure within various parts of the digestive tract. People must not eat or drink anything after midnight before the test.

In this test, a flexible tube with pressure gauges along its surface (called a manometry catheter) is placed in the esophagus (the hollow tube that leads from the throat to the stomach), stomach, first part of the small intestine, or the rectum. Placement of the manometry catheter through the nose or mouth typically causes gagging and nausea, so a numbing agent is sprayed in the nose and back of the throat. Using the manometer, a doctor can determine whether contractions of the digestive tract are normal or whether pressure in the sphincters of the esophagus or anus are normal. Sometimes manometry is combined with impedance testing, a test that measures the pressure and diameter of the esophagus.

Aside from minor discomfort, complications of manometry are very rare.

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