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Sponge-on-a-string test replaces need for endoscopy in eight in 10 reflux patients

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 26 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q501
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. The BMJ

Eight out of 10 patients who underwent a capsule sponge test for Barrett’s oesophagus did not need any further investigations, including endoscopy, a trial of over 8500 people in England has found.

The test involves patients swallowing a small capsule shaped device which contains a tiny sponge that collects cells for analysis as it is pulled back up through the oesophagus by a string. It does not require sedation and in a survey of 350 people who had the test, 94% said they experienced only mild pain or none at all.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, …

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