New research published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology has shown evidence that Peptest can be used to diagnose extra-oesophageal reflux (EER) in children with ‘glue ear’.

Glue ear or chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) is a condition in which fluid builds up behind the eardrum in the middle ear.

According to the NHS, it is estimated that one in five children around the age of two will be affected by OME at any given time and about eight in every 10 children will have had glue ear at least once by the time they are 10 years old.

There are several conditions that are known to cause middle ear infection, such as upper respiratory infections, allergies and adenoids. But recent studies have found EER to be an additional risk factor for ear problems with children, due to the fact the Eustachian tube is not fully developed in children, making it easier for refluxed stomach contents to reach the middle ear.

Researchers at the University Hospital Ostrava and the Faculty of Medicine University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic used Peptest to detect the presence of the stomach enzyme pepsin in the middle ear.

There is no pepsin in the middle ear under normal physiological conditions, so the presence of pepsin in the middle ear suggests episodes of reflux.

According to the research, Diagnosis of extra-oesophageal reflux in children with chronic otitis media with effusion using Peptest, pepsin was detected in a third of middle ear specimens of children with OME. The results suggest these patients probably suffer from more severe reflux and would be potential candidates for anti-reflux therapy.