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As part of its mission to stay current with the newest technology for diagnosing and treating chronic diseases, King Saud University (KSU) Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department is now utilizing the latest device for diagnosis of reflux of stomach acids and enzymes to the larynx and pharynx.

A leading company in engineering world-class medical technologies has developed a 24-hour Pharyngeal pH Measurement System, which provides ENT specialists with reliable and accurate sensing of pH in the pharynx in patients with reflux related symptoms. According to the NYU Voice Center, acid reflux refers to the backflow of stomach contents into the throat. The stomach produces a variety of different chemicals, including a potent acid and substances that break down tissues, called enzymes. When such chemicals enter the throat, they have the potential for causing great damage, as reported by Dr. Saleh Aldhahri, Head of ENT Department, KAUH, KSU.

The Pharyngeal pH Measurement System is now being used by medical experts at King Abdul Aziz University Hospital (KAUH) in Riyadh, which is the first institution in the region to use such a device to diagnose patients suffering from reflux symptoms such as throat discomfort, swallowing pain, voice changes and frequent coughing and throat clearing. This new technology will provide KSU doctors with a more effective and accurate ENT diagnostic tool.

Dr. Khalid Al-Malki, supervisor of the Communication and Swallowing Disorders Unit (CSDU), and supervisor of KSU’s Research Chair of Voice and Swallowing Disorders (RCVASD), says that CSDU will soon be opening a special clinic for this new device.

In applying the device, an illuminated catheter tip with a Light Emitting Diode (LED) is introduced through the nose. It blinks and allows medical personnel to confirm the proper placement into the back of the mouth. The small size and minimally invasive position of the pH sensor allows patients to carry on normal, everyday activities including eating, talking and sleeping with more comfort than conventional esophageal pH probes.

The measurements taken by the pH sensor are sent wirelessly to a recording device which the patient carries throughout the study period. Upon completion of 24 hours, the patient returns to the physician's office where the data is downloaded and presented graphically for analysis.

The utilization of this modern technology illustrates the great support being received by the ENT Department, and all sections of the Faculty of Medicine, by College of Medicine and KSU administration.