Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
GI Manometry Laboratory
The GI Manometry Laboratory of the Medical College of Wisconsin is located at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. Patients are referred to the GI Manometry Laboratory for specialized tests that help evaluate disorders of swallowing, acid reflux, heartburn, chest pain, biliary-type pain and disorders of elimination. The standard motility tests include esophageal manometry, anorectal manometry, biliary manometry, and ambulatory esophageal acid reflux monitoring. Customized motility tests can be individualized depending on the patient´s clinical problem.
Manometry literally means a pressure measurement. During manometry recording, the pressures measured are those generated by the gut muscle as it squeezes or relaxes. These tests provide important information about the gut muscle functioning (is it weak, excessively strong, or uncoordinated), or how the muscle is responding to a specific therapy. To measure these pressures, different types of thin pressure recording catheters are positioned in the GI tract. These studies usually take from 30 to 60 minutes. Ambulatory esophageal acid reflux monitoring involves the placement of spaghetti-thin catheter into the esophagus over a full day to record the frequency of acid reflux arising from the stomach and whether this is producing symptoms.
Over 5,000 esophageal and 1,000 anorectal clinical manometry studies have been performed in the GI Manometry Laboratory, which is one of the longest continually operating units in this country. Faculty and staff in this laboratory are part of the MCW Dysphagia Institute who conduct research on motor disorders of the gut in the adjacent research laboratory. They have developed new techniques that are used throughout the world to evaluate swallowing disorders. Because of their expertise, they are involved in teaching other physicians, both locally and nationally. Patients may be referred directly to the GI Manometry Laboratory by their physicians or may be seen first in consultation by the faculty physician of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology or the MCW Dysphagia Institute.