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Wireless Systems May Improve Acid Reflux Detection

Details and normal values for capsule system needs to be worked out, editorialist says

THURSDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new wireless pH monitoring capsule developed for the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease offers significant advantages over traditional ambulatory, catheter-based monitoring, according to an editorial in the December issue of Gut. However, two new studies in the same issue of the journal suggest more work is needed to determine the details and normal values for recordings from the capsule, which adheres to the esophageal wall.

In one study, Stanislas Bruley des Varannes, M.D., of Hopital Hotel Dieu in Nantes, France, and colleagues found that the Bravo telemetric catheter free system significantly under-recorded acid exposure compared to a conventional pH measurement system.

In a second study, John E. Pandolfino, M.D., and colleagues from Northwestern University in Chicago, found that substantially more reflux events were reported by a catheter-based system than the Bravo system. However, they determined that 40% of the excess events were due to flawed calibration software, and the rest were short events with poor reproducibility.

Richard H. Holloway M.D., FRACP, of Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, notes that wireless pH monitoring is more expensive, but offers significant advantages over intraluminal pH recording. The new monitoring system promises to "provide more meaningful data for evaluation of patients and hopefully, more discriminative diagnosis," Holloway writes in the editorial.

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