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We offer the unique 'STRING TEST' for monitoring of Eosinophilic Oesophagitis (EoE) in children

As reported by BBC South, in The Echo and The Daily Mail

What is EoE? What are the symptoms ?

EoE is inflammation of the Oesophagus due to Eosinophils.  

Oesophagus lining is the same as the lining of skin and the best analogy will be like eczema of the oesophagus.  

EoE can present as 'feeling of food getting stuck', 'impaction' and 'heart burn' in older children . Symptoms are more vague in the younger child and should be considered in refractory reflux.​ Not every child with Reflux has EoE.

How is the treatment for EoE ?

EoE is related to allergy hence may involve exclusion of foods, antacids and sometimes steroids

How is EoE monitored ?

This is the real elephant in the room which we generally never talk about.

Current guidelines suggest repeat endoscopies with every food challenge to monitor EoE which can be as many 3-4 endoscopies per year. Children dislike repeat endoscopies, going through repeat anaesthetics and is quite trauamtic for parents. This is where the string test comes in.

 

Is the string test unique to Southampton ?

We cannot take credit for this as the idea orginates from US who first started using and colleagues in Cincinnati do the one hour string test in children.

I am aware us to be the only centre in UK currently offering paediatric string tests to children with EoE. Our test is only 1/2 hour long.

We are not from Southampton, can my child have a string test while being treated in another paediatric GI specialist centre ? We have had excellent care from our consultant and wish to stay

Short answer - YES and ABSOLUTELY.

I am happy to do the string test for your child, send the results to you and your child's specialist without interefering into management. This may cut down the number of endoscopies required.

My child is 6 years old. Can she have a string test ?

Short answer - YES however our success rate is about 50% in this age group. The success percentage continues to increase as the child grows older with 90% plus success in a 10 year old. 

There is NEVER any pressure on the child to do a string test.

How much is it going to cost in comparison to endoscopy ? 

We are still working on the price but the aim is to keep it affordable. We are hoping to be 1/10th or less of the price of paediatric endoscopy under anaesthetic whilst avoiding the need for endoscopy

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