Data concerning a new device for detecting liquid and aerosolized supraesophageal gastric reflux (SEGR) events in the oropharynx has been presented by Gregory Wiener, MD, at the international Digestive Disease Week conference held in Los Angeles, May 20-25, 2006.

Clinical and animal studies have documented the association of the deleterious effects of acidic and weakly acidic events in the airway associated with widespread respiratory disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and sleep apnea. According to a release from Restech Corp, San Diego, identification of such events in the upper airway has evaded understanding due to the lack of a suitable and reliable sensor. But now, Weiner has presented data on a new product for this application, the Restech Dx p-H Measurement System™. The Restech system uses a 1.5mm diameter nasopharyngeal catheter placed in the oropharynx behind the soft palate, a position that presents minimal discomfort to the patient and allows simple visual placement by the physician. It uses wireless telemetry to transmit the p-H data from the catheter to a pocket-sized data recorder, further enhancing patient comfort. “The association between GERD and sleep apnea has always been speculated and the association is there, but this device should help in determining if the association is real,” said Wiener.