Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

Do You See What I See? Improving the Reliability of the Evaluation of Swallowing Difficulty

2019  | Disease: Esophageal DiseasesEsophageal Gastroenterology

Principal Researcher: Ronak Vashi Patel, MD

Co-Principal Researcher: Ikuo Hirano, M.D. | 

Principal Investigator: Ronak Vashi Patel, MD

Imagine a piece of food becomes stuck in your throat while eating dinner. Unfortunately, for many patients with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), this is a symptom that occurs all too often. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a gastroenterology “red flag” that often alerts physicians to initiate a work up to determine the cause. Typically, the first step calls for an upper endoscopy to visually assess inflammation and narrowing (strictures) that can be treated. Prior data suggests that visual evaluation is not perfect. Missed strictures can lead to additional testing and delay diagnosis. Other tools have become available to assist in measuring the esophageal diameter such as the Functional Lumen Imaging Probe (FLIP), a novel technology. Dr. Patel’s research project aims to determine how accurately physicians measure esophageal diameter as compared to FLIP in patients with EoE. Better understanding the accuracy of endoscopic assessment by both visual estimation and FLIP assessment will offer insight into which tools should be used in diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of esophageal disease.

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