New minimally invasive device may soon replace endoscopy for Barrett's esophagus diagnosis

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According to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, reseearchers from the University of Cambridge MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom, have found that a new minimally invasive test can be used to identify patients with reflux symptoms to diagnose Barrett's esophagus rather than be referred for endoscopy for diagnosis.

For the study, researchers sought to evaluate the accuracy, safety, and acceptability of the test compared with endoscopy for the diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus, a disorder characterized by an abnormal change in the cells of the lower part of the esophagus that is a risk factor for the development of esophageal cancer.

Researchers enrolled 1,110 patients from various hospitals in the United Kingdom who were referred for a diagnostic endoscopy for symptoms of dyspepsia and reflux symptoms.

Results showed that the new minimally invasive test accurately diagnosed 79.7% of the 647 patients with endoscopically diagnosed Barrett's esophagus, and correctly identified 92.4% of 463 of those unaffected by Barrett's esophagus as not having Barrett's esophagus.

Researchers found that the test had an 87.2% sensitivity when patients had a circumferential Barrett's segments over 3cm. Most patients were able to swallow the device without issues and no adverse events were observed.

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A new minimally invasive test can be used to identify patients with reflux symptoms to diagnose Barrett's esophagus.
A new minimally invasive cell sampling device coupled with assessment of trefoil factor 3 expression can be used to identify patients with reflux symptoms who warrant endoscopy to diagnose Barrett's esophagus, according to a study published by Rebecca Fitzgerald and colleagues from the MRC Cancer Unit, UK, in this week's PLOS Medicine.
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