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System and method for testing the gastric valve

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System and method for testing the gastric valve


A system and method tests the gastric valve in a patient. A contrast agent is supplied into the stomach of the patient. An involuntary reflex cough epoch is induced within the patient to isolate the gastric valve from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). A fluoroscopic instrument is used to detect whether stomach reflux has occurred indicative of a malfunctioning gastric valve.
Related Terms: Cough Epoch Involuntary Lower Esophageal Sphincter Reflex Sphincter

Browse recent Pneumoflex Systems, LLC patents - Melbourne, FL, US
Inventors: W. Robert ADDINGTON, Stuart P. MILLER, Robert E. STEPHENS
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120277583 - Class: 600431 (USPTO) - 11/01/12 - Class 600 
Surgery > Diagnostic Testing >Detecting Nuclear, Electromagnetic, Or Ultrasonic Radiation >Detectable Material Placed In Body

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120277583, System and method for testing the gastric valve.

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RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application is based upon U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 61/480,625 filed Apr. 29, 2011 and U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 61/533,389 filed Sep. 12, 2011, the disclosures which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to testing the gastric valve in a patient and assessing the functioning of a patient\'s gastric valve and external urethral sphincter using an involuntary reflex cough test.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Commonly assigned U.S. application Ser. No. 13/354,100 filed Jan. 19, 2012 by the same inventors, the disclosure which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety, discloses a system and method of diagnosing acid reflux using an involuntary reflex cough test. In one example as disclosed, a nasogastric/orogastric (Ng/Og) device is inserted into the stomach and the involuntary reflex cough epoch induced. The intra-abdominal pressure and elevational reflux along the Ng/Og device is measured. In an example, the functional status of the gastric valve is determined based on the measured intra-abdominal pressure and elevational reflux along the catheter. This is a limited analysis that is not always accurate to determine whether there is a reflux problem, requiring an Ng/Og device, which in some cases can interfere with the gastric valve and the lower esophageal sphincter. In another example, an Ng/Og device with an esophageal cuff is used with a sequence of steps, such as inflating a cuff, inducing the involuntary reflex cough epoch, determining if acid reflux has occurred, deflating the esophageal cuff, and again inducing the involuntary reflex cough epoch. Results can be used to determine the functional status of the gastric valve. This is a limited type of test that has not always been found advantageous.

Use of the involuntary reflex cough test with or without a voluntary cough test is also disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 11/608,316 filed Dec. 8, 2006; Ser. No. 11/550,125 filed Oct. 17, 2006; Ser. No. 12/643,134 filed Dec. 21, 2009; Ser. No. 12/643,251 filed Dec. 21, 2009; Ser. No. 12/878,257 filed Sep. 9, 2010; Ser. No. 12/878,281 filed Sep. 9, 2010; and Ser. No. 12/878,316 filed Sep. 9, 2010; the disclosures which are all hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. The \'257, \'281 and \'316 applications disclose oral-esophageal-gastric devices, some with esophageal cuffs and/or reflux measurement systems that can be used to assess GERD or determine stress urinary incontinence in some examples using the involuntary reflex cough tests alone or in combination with the voluntary cough test.

In one current test used to determine gastric reflux, fluoroscopy is used. A clinician or doctor will conduct a radiology sweep and use fluoroscopy, also termed video fluoroscopy. A patient swallows a barium drink, for example, containing barium sulphate, typically about 500 to about 1,000 milliliters. The patient lays on a table and the pictures are taken. Often, a tablet or drink is ingested, also termed a fizzy, to produce gas, which acts similar to Alka-Seltzer. Thus, the barium and gas exists in the stomach. Often the patient will lay on their left or right side or the clinician will tilt the patient over such that the head is down. At this point, it is possible to determine if there is acid reflux (or stomach back-up into the esophagus) by viewing the barium. In that respect, the clinician is testing the gastric valve, but the clinician also often claims they are also testing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Practitioners have found that test confusing and note reliable indicators are required to determine competency of the gastric valve relative to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

A system and method in accordance with a non-limiting example tests the gastric valve in a patient. A contrast agent is administered into the esophagus of the patient, followed by inducing an involuntary reflex cough epoch within the patient to isolate the gastric valve from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The flow of contrast agent is detected during the involuntary reflex cough epoch using an image sensor to determine whether stomach reflux occurred indicative of a malfunctioning gastric valve. A fluoroscopic instrument is used to detect whether stomach reflux has occurred in one example.

The involuntary reflex cough epoch can be induced by introducing a chemo-irritant using a nebulizer by having the patient inhale the irritant. It is also possible to supply the contrast agent by having the patient swallow Barium Sulfate.

The flow of contrast agent can be detected at the level of the LES. In another example, the contrast agent is swallowed and the patient is positioned in a semi-incumbent lithotomy position when inducing the involuntary reflex cough epoch. A platform supports the patient in one example and the imaging sensor is mounted to the support in a position to image the flow of contrast through the esophagus at the LES. A moveable support arm and swivel adapter mounts the nebulizer. In another example, a processor is connected to the imaging sensor and receives imaging data from the imaging sensor regarding the flow of contrast agent and reflux and is configured to process the data and estimate the severity of the malfunctioning gastric valve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description of the invention which follows, when considered in light of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a flowchart illustrating a sequence of steps for isolating the gastric valve to assess its function in accordance with a non-limiting example.

FIG. 2 is another flowchart illustrating a sequence of steps for isolating the gastric valve and external urethral sphincter to assess their function in accordance with a non-limiting example.

FIG. 3A is a fragmentary view of an example of a kit having components for use with the methodology described relative to FIGS. 1 and 2 in accordance with a non-limiting example.

FIG. 3B is a view showing a system that includes a patient bed as a platform and imaging sensor for performing the methodology of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4A are images for the inspiration continence reflex (ICR) as part of the involuntary reflex cough test and showing the LES.

FIG. 4B is a nerve conduction graph showing the inspiration continence reflex.

FIG. 5A are images showing a barium swallow during breath-hold.

FIG. 5B is a nerve conduction graph for the barium swallow during breath-hold.

FIG. 6 are images of a barium swallow during breath-hold in the LES.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120277583 A1
Publish Date
11/01/2012
Document #
13456882
File Date
04/26/2012
USPTO Class
600431
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
61B6/00
Drawings
31


Cough
Epoch
Involuntary
Lower Esophageal Sphincter
Reflex
Sphincter


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