Peptest has been described as a ‘simple, inexpensive, non-invasive’ and ‘very specific’ diagnosis tool for laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), according to a new research study in Spain.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux is a disease characterised by the presence of symptoms, signs and tissue alterations in the aero-digestive upper tract.

At present, in most cases, diagnosis is based on assessment of laryngeal symptoms and signs because diagnostic methods that allow objective confirmation of LPR are invasive and expensive. This can often lead to empirical treatment.

For three years, an otolaryngology clinic in a Valencia hospital has tested saliva samples for pepsin using Peptest. A total of 221 subjects participated in the study.

In its report Diagnostic Usefulness of the Salivary Pepsin Test in Symptomatic Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, researchers say a positive result with Peptest could lead to a diagnosis of LPR.

“The results obtained in our study show that the Peptest is a very specific diagnosistic tool for LPR with a high likelihood ratio. A positive result in the test could be considered as diagnosis of LPR, with a low possibility of false positives.”

The study – available to download and read – concludes that a negative result in the test in patients with clinical suspicion of LPR should lead to patients undergoing more complex tests, such as 24-hour dual-channel pH-metry.

The 24-hour dual-channel pH-metry test is invasive and cost-intensive so cannot be performed on all subjects with clinical suspicion of LPR.