Researchers in Italy have used Peptest to investigate whether the stomach enzyme pepsin causes worsening of symptoms for patients with chronic cough and chronic respiratory disease.

As part of the study at Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital in Verona, 42 patients were recruited to ascertain if pepsin could be the cause of frequent bronchial exacerbations.

All patients underwent a diagnostic bronchoscopy and bronchial lavage fluid specimens were obtained with the concentration of pepsin determined using Peptest.

Pepsin was found to be present in the samples from 37 of 42 patients (88 per cent). In patients presenting with bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pepsin was present in 100 per cent of patients.

According to the study, the findings ‘are interesting because the correlation between EER and airway disease is gradually gaining recognition increasing the need for new standards and diagnostic standards for ‘extra-oesophageal reflux disease’.

Professsor Peter Dettmar says: “The study found that reflux is demonstrated by the presence of pepsin in the airways and is potentially responsible and causal for frequent bronchial exacerbations.”

“Peptest has the potential to be used as a reliable test to determine extra oesophageal reflux of the airways and reduce/prevent patients having to undergo further diagnosis using invasive tests, such as endoscopy and pH monitoring.”