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Electronic nose detects Barrett's

Wednesday February 26th, 2020

An electronic nose can accurately detect Barrett's oesophagus, providing a potential new portable diagnostic test, Dutch researchers report today.

The test is inexpensive and non-invasive and could be used in primary care, say Professor Peter Siersema, of The Radboud University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, and colleagues.

They state today (26 February) in the journal Gut that earlier detection of Barrett’s oesophagus could reduce the rate of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and mortality from the condition.

They carried out a study involving 402 patients, to test a method of measuring ‘volatile organic compounds’ using a device they describe as an electronic nose.

“The findings of our study provide evidence that patients with [Barrett’s oesophagus] have VOC breath prints different from those without,” they write.

The study found that this device could distinguish between patients with and without Barrett’s oesophagus with high accuracy - picking up 91% of cases of Barrett’s oesophagus, while being 74% accurate at ruling out those without the condition. It could also do so regardless of the use of medications or other conditions.

They write: “This technique may enable an efficient, well-tolerated, and sensitive and specific screening method to select high-risk individuals to undergo upper endoscopy, the current standard for Barrett’s oesophagus detection.”

Peters, Y. et al. Detection of Barrett’s oesophagus through exhaled breath using an electronic nose device. Gut 26 February 2020 doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-320273

http://gut.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/gutjnl-2019-320273

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Gastroenterology | Pharmaceuticals

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