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Mucosal impedance as a diagnostic tool for gastroesophageal reflux disease: an update for clinicians.

Mucosal impedance is a marker of esophageal mucosal integrity and a novel technique for assessing esophageal function and pathology. This article highlights its development and clinical application for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus, and eosinophilic esophagitis. A narrative review of key publications describing the development and use of mucosal impedance in clinical practice was conducted. A low mean nocturnal baseline impedance (MNBI) has been shown to be an independent predictor of response to anti-reflux therapy. MNBI predicts medication-responsive heartburn better than distal esophageal acid exposure time. Patients with equivocal evidence of GERD using conventional methods, with a low MNBI, had an improvement in symptoms following the initiation of PPI therapy compared to those with a normal MNBI. A similar trend was seen in a post fundoplication cohort. Strong clinical utility for the use of mucosal impedance in assessing eosinophilic esophagitis has been repeatedly demonstrated; however, there is minimal direction for application in Barrett's esophagus. The authors conclude that mucosal impedance has potential clinical utility for the assessment and diagnosis of GERD, particularly when conventional investigations have yielded equivocal results.

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