Examination of the stomach has always been a challenge. In order to assess the condition of the mucous membrane and to have the most complete picture of the function of the stomach and duodenum, gastric sounding is performed. What is such a diagnostic method? How to prepare for the procedure? What indications and contraindications are there for sounding? The answers to these questions can be found by reading the following article.

What is sounding and to whom is it assigned

The contents of the stomach and duodenum are aspirated using a probe and then examined in the laboratory, where the pH of the gastric juice is determined by the titration method. Determination of the acidity of gastric juice is important when prescribing drug therapy. The study is carried out fractionally, first on an empty stomach, then after 15 minutes and after stimulation.

The procedure consists in introducing a probe through the patient’s mouth or nose, which then moves into the stomach. This study does not cause discomfort, although it is performed without anesthesia.

Modern medicine has allowed the use of a very thin probe with a diameter of 0.5 cm for this procedure. That is why sounding does not bring discomfort. In addition, now one end of the probe is equipped with a small video camera that reproduces on the monitor screen a picture of the state of the stomach and its structure.

This diagnostic method allows the doctor to more accurately diagnose the patient, to detect and prevent the development of various diseases.

By probing the stomach, diseases such as gastric ulcer, reflux esophagitis and gastritis with low or high acidity can be detected in the early stages.

In addition, this procedure is used for other purposes. Often, the probe is used to inject medications or food directly into the patient’s stomach, which they themselves cannot do: premature babies, patients with injuries of the esophagus, face, mouth or larynx pathologies, unconscious patients.

Also, sounding is often used in medical practice for aspiration of poisons and toxins from the stomach during its toxic lesion. For this, a special type of probe is used.

This type of diagnosis also allows you to identify malignant neoplasms in the early stages and prevent their development, signal any changes that occur in the gastric tissues, and also learn about the structural features of the mucous membrane.

Preparation for the procedure

The most important thing before carrying out such a procedure is to calm down and put your nervous system in order. Excessive anxiety and nervousness will only negatively affect the gastric juice and cause an unwanted vomiting reflex.

It is recommended that before the diagnosis, talk with the doctor about how the examination will occur, tune in to a positive effect and stop worrying.

In addition, it is necessary to refrain from consuming any food and from smoking before probing for twelve hours so as not to disrupt the composition of the gastric juice. You can drink water at the same time.

If the patient is taking any medications, he must notify the doctor who will conduct the examination. It is not recommended to use antacids, caffeine, atropine and other medications that affect the functioning of the stomach before this procedure.

Next, the patient is prepared for the procedure directly in the doctor’s office. To do this, he lies on his left side and covers his chest with a napkin so as not to stain his clothes with saliva. During the diagnosis, saliva is spit, it is not allowed to swallow it.

A special ring is inserted into the patient's mouth, which will not allow him to close his jaw and accidentally damage the probe. The oral cavity is treated with an anesthetic aerosol to reduce sensitivity.

A probe is inserted directly behind the root of the tongue, and then the patient pushes it deep into the stomach with the help of swallowing movements. After it is fixed on the patient’s clothes so that it does not slip deeper.

The free end of the probe is connected to a special pump, through which aspiration of the contents of the stomach will occur.

How is sounding performed?

This diagnostic method takes a fairly long time and can last up to two and a half hours. It depends on the condition of the patient and on the procedure.

Usually it is carried out in a standard way:

  1. First, all its contents are aspirated from the stomach.
  2. Then every 10 minutes for an hour, the secretion produced by the stomach on an empty stomach is collected. The fluid intake time is five minutes.
  3. After the so-called test breakfast is introduced into the stomach. This can be a decoction of cabbage, a light broth, or drug stimulants of secretion: insulin, pentagastrin or gestamine. These drugs have their contraindications for use, so a test breakfast is now practically not carried out. In addition, he does not give the desired reaction of the stomach.
  4. Half an hour after the introduction of breakfast, they are again taken for the selection of secretion caused by irritants. Fence is also produced within an hour in fifteen-minute servings.

Each received portion of the liquid is tested in the laboratory. It is evaluated for smell, appearance and texture. Pay attention to the total amount of content received.

Interpretation of examination results

This procedure is aimed mainly at the study of the secretory function of the stomach. With its help, you can diagnose most diseases of the digestive system:

  • a clear, non-viscous liquid with normal acidity indicates a completely healthy stomach;
  • the predominance of yellow or green in the liquid indicates an impurity of bile, red and brown - impurities of the blood;
  • food residues in the pumped-out liquid and increased total volume make it possible to judge the hypersecretion of gastric juice;
  • increased fluid viscosity indicates the presence of gastritis;
  • depending on the content of hydrochloric acid, treatment is directed either to limit its production, or vice versa to stimulation;
  • the acidity of the stomach is established: reduced or increased.

Contraindications for examination

No matter how safe this procedure is, it still has a number of some contraindications to it. Probing of the stomach should not be carried out with:

  • gastric bleeding;
  • pregnancy
  • hypertension
  • varicose veins of the esophagus;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • cardiovascular failure;
  • esophageal stenosis;
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • mental disorders.

Recovery after the procedure

The examination, which was carried out in accordance with all the rules by a qualified specialist gastroenterologist, does not require any recovery after it.

After removing the probe, the patient is observed by the doctor for another hour. This is necessary in order to quickly and effectively eliminate possible negative consequences: trauma to the esophagus or stomach.

Perforation of the stomach or trauma to the mucosa can occur if the procedure is performed incorrectly. In this case, gastric bleeding often occurs. In this case, it is urgent to conduct a series of events:

  • intramuscular injection of dicinone;
  • intravenous injection of calcium chloride;
  • blood transfusion (in case of large blood loss);
  • applying ice to the stomach.

With perforation of the stomach, urgent surgery is necessary. However, such complications are extremely rare. Almost always, this procedure runs smoothly and painlessly.

To summarize

Probing of the stomach is a modern and, probably, the only method for diagnosing the stomach, in which the acidity of the gastric juice is determined. Refuse from this procedure is not worth it, because so far there is no alternative to this examination method. An experienced gastroenterologist and modern equipment will guarantee that the diagnosis will be painless and without any negative consequences.

The author of the article:
Izvozchikova Nina Vladislavovna

Specialty: infectious disease specialist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist.

Total length of service: 35 years.

Education: 1975-1982, 1MI, San Gig, highest qualification, infectious diseases doctor.

Science degree: doctor of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences.


  1. Infectious diseases.
  2. Parasitic diseases.
  3. Emergency conditions.
  4. HIV
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