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New Esophageal Reflux Testing Guidelines Issued

ACG report highlights advances in capsule pH monitoring and bile acid reflux monitoring devices

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- New technologies such as wireless capsule pH monitoring and bile acid reflux monitoring can help in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to new guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology. The guidelines are published in the March issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Ikuo Hirano, M.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and colleagues based their recommendations on investigations of patients who have endoscopy-negative reflux disease and don't respond to proton pump inhibitor therapy. They also addressed issues surrounding conventional, catheter-based pH monitoring, reviewed improvements in the interpretation of esophageal pH recordings, and examined the clinical utility of pH recordings in the proximal esophagus and stomach.

The researchers emphasized that gastroenterologists are confronted with an increasing number of patients who present with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease but are unresponsive to drug therapy. Although such patients may have typical reflux symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation, they also may complain of chest pain, asthma, chronic cough and chronic laryngitis, according to the authors.

"Wireless capsule pH monitoring, bile acid reflux monitoring devices and esophageal impedance can all improve the detection of reflux," Hirano said in a prepared statement, explaining that such technologies have allowed gastroenterologists to discover new forms of reflux and better describe traditional acid reflux.

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