A new UK study with more than 1,000 patients has demonstrated how Peptest can be used to diagnose laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) in hospitals, voice clinics and GP surgeries.
LPR is a condition responsible for up to 10 per cent of all otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) consultations.
With symptoms, such as hoarseness, sore throat, dysphagia and chronic cough, LPR is often referred to as silent reflux. Because there is typically a lack of heartburn, LPR is often misdiagnosed.
In the UK, the test deemed best for diagnosing LPR is ‘oesophageal multichannel intra-luminal impedance and pH (MII-pH monitoring)’. This procedure involves placing either a wired catheter or a wireless probe with a pH sensor in the lower oesophagus to measure the acidity of any reflux over a period of 24 to 48 hours.
Peptest has been proposed as an alternative to invasive diagnostic tests for patients who do not want to have MII-pH impedance or in those clinics that do not have access to MII-pH impedance.
In a study in five UK voice clinics, Peptest was found to be a simple non-invasive test capable of diagnosing LPR with an overall sensitivity of 76.4 per cent and specificity of 100 per cent.
Future studies will also need to look closer on the influence of diet as well as sample timing. A future study will also evaluate how well treatment works in pepsin-positive patients presenting with cough and LPR symptoms to investigate if symptom improvement correlates with a drop in salivary pepsin concentration.