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Detection of Barrett’s oesophagus through exhaled breath using an electronic nose device

Abstract

Timely detection of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) and even more so its precursor Barrett’s oesophagus (BO) could contribute to decrease OAC incidence and mortality. An accurate, minimally-invasive screening method for BO for widespread use is currently not available. In a proof-of-principle study in 402 patients, we developed and cross-validated a BO prediction model using volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis with an electronic nose device. This electronic nose was able to distinguish between patients with and without BO with good diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity 91% specificity 74%) and seemed to be independent of proton pump inhibitor use, the presence of hiatal hernia, and reflux. This technique may enable an efficient, well-tolerated, and sensitive and specific screening method to select high-risk individuals to undergo upper endoscopy.

  • barrett's oesophagus
  • oesophageal cancer
  • screening
  • breath tests
  • endoscopy
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