BACKGROUND & AIMS - Diagnostic tests for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are constrained because measurements are made at a single time point, so the long-term effects on the mucosa cannot be determined. We developed a minimally invasive system to assess changes in esophageal mucosal impedance (MI), a marker of reflux. We measured the extent of changes in MI along the esophagus and show that the device to assess MI can be used to diagnose patients with GERD.
METHODS - A single-channel MI catheter composed of a unique sensor array was designed to easily traverse the working channel of an upper endoscope. We performed a prospective longitudinal study of patients with erosive esophagitis (n = 19), nonerosive but pH-positive GERD (n = 23), and those without GERD (n = 27). MI was measured at the site of esophagitis as well as 2, 5, and 10 cm above the squamocolumnar junction. The MI values were compared among groups, at different levels along the esophageal axis.
RESULTS - Median MI values were significantly lower at the site of erosive mucosa (811 Ω; range, 621-1272 Ω) than other nonerosive regions (3723 Ω; range, 2421-4671 Ω; P = .001), and were significantly lower at 2 cm above the squamocolumnar junction in patients with GERD (2096 Ω; range, 1415-2808 Ω), compared with those without GERD (3607 Ω; range, 1973-4238 Ω; P = .008). There was a significant and graded increase in MI along the axis of the distal to proximal esophagus in patients with GERD that was not observed in individuals without reflux (P = .004).
CONCLUSIONS - Measurements of MI along the esophagus can be used to identify patients with GERD. ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01194323.
Copyright © 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.