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Endolumenal Functional Lumen Imaging Probe (EndoFLIP; Medtronic Inc.) for Evaluation of Esophageal and Gastric Disorders

June 14, 2019

Health Problem: The esophageal and gastric disorders most frequently evaluated with the Endolumenal Functional Lumen Imaging Probe (EndoFLIP) are achalasia, eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), and gastroparesis, but these disorders are relatively rare, with prevalence ranging from approximately 11 to 52 cases per 100,000 persons in the general population. Disorders of esophageal motility can cause symptoms such as impaction of food at the base of the esophagus, leading to pain and regurgitation. Similarly, disorders of gastric motility can cause delayed stomach emptying, leading to bloating, pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Technology Description: During use, the EndoFLIP catheter extends from the esophagus into the stomach or from the stomach into the small intestine. The catheter is surrounded by a balloon that fills with fluid, which applies pressure while providing continuous diameter measurements along its length, giving information about esophageal and/or gastric function. The EndoFLIP is used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic or prognostic tests and the test is generally performed on outpatients.

Controversy: The EndoFLIP device has not been thoroughly studied, and it is unclear whether the information it provides improves the diagnosis and management of esophageal and gastric disorders compared with current methods of assessment.

Key Questions:

  • Does use of the EndoFLIP improve the detection, prediction of disease course, and management of esophageal and gastric disorders?
  • Is use of the EndoFLIP associated with any safety issues?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for use of the EndoFLIP for diagnosis, prognosis, and management of esophageal and gastric disorders?