Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation System Helps Patients with GERD, Study Reveals

A study has revealed that transcutaneous electrical stimulation system (TESS) is safe and has the potential to reduce esophageal-acid exposure in patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, unresponsive to proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

Photo: Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn | InStyleHealth


A non-invasive device, it integrates a piezoelectric breathing sensor for synchronizing the stimulation pulses with the patient’s breathing phase. This system works by stimulating the abdominal muscles with modulated asymmetrical biphasic current waveforms with a typical controlled current level of 15 – 40 mA base to pick and maximum of 70 mA.

The said system was tested in 10 GERD patients who had failed treatment with standard-dose proton pump inhibitor. All of the patients had heartburn complaints and regurgitation with an abnormal esophageal-acid exposure. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation system (TESS) was performed following the placement of a wireless esophageal pH capsule.

The patients had a normal upper endoscopy while on standard-dose PPI. The average age was 49.1 years, and 71% were female. Average period of symptoms was around 4 years.

Out of the total number of patients, only seven (5 males and 2 females) completed the study. After treatment with TESS, the average percent total time pH <4 decreased from 12 at baseline to 5.5 at day 1, 4.5 at day 2, 3.7 at day 3, and 4.4 at day 4.

Moreover, the average DeMeester score dropped from 39 at baseline to 15.8 at day 1, 13.2 at day 2, 11.2 at day 3, and 12 at day 4.

Current data provide justification for facilitating a larger controlled clinical trial to validate the efficacy of TESS and delve into its mechanism of action.

For complete details of the study, click here.


Source: Gastroenterol Rep 2021;doi:10.1093/gastro/goab002


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