Use of the Functional Lumen Imaging Probe in Clinical Esophagology : Official journal of the American College of Gastroenterology | ACG

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Use of the Functional Lumen Imaging Probe in Clinical Esophagology

Savarino, Edoardo MD, PhD1; di Pietro, Massimiliano MD2; Bredenoord, Albert J. MD, PhD3; Carlson, Dustin A. MD4; Clarke, John O. MD5; Khan, Abraham MD6; Vela, Marcelo F. MD7; Yadlapati, Rena MD8; Pohl, Daniel MD9; Pandolfino, John E. MD4; Roman, Sabine MD, PhD10; Gyawali, C. Prakash MD, MRCP11

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The American Journal of Gastroenterology 115(11):p 1786-1796, November 2020. | DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000773


The functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) measures luminal dimensions using impedance planimetry, performed most often during sedated upper endoscopy. Mechanical properties of the esophageal wall and opening dynamics of the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) can be objectively evaluated in esophageal motor disorders, eosinophilic esophagitis, esophageal strictures, during esophageal surgery and in postsurgical symptomatic states. Distensibility index, the ratio of EGJ cross sectional area to intraballoon pressure, is the most useful FLIP metric. Secondary peristalsis from balloon distension can be displayed topographically as repetitive anterograde or retrograde contractile activity in the esophageal body, similar to high-resolution manometry. Real-time interpretation and postprocessing of FLIP metadata can complement the identification of esophageal outflow obstruction and achalasia, especially when findings are inconclusive from alternate esophageal tests in symptomatic patients. FLIP can complement the diagnosis of achalasia when manometry and barium studies are inconclusive or negative in patients with typical symptoms. FLIP can direct adequacy of disruption of the EGJ in achalasia when used during and immediately after myotomy and pneumatic dilation. Lumen diameter measured using FLIP in eosinophilic esophagitis and in complex strictures can potentially guide management. An abbreviated modification of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation was used to determine the quality of available evidence and recommendations regarding FLIP utilization. FLIP metrics that are diagnostic or suggestive of an abnormal motor pattern and metrics that define normal esophageal physiology were developed by consensus and are described in this review.

© 2020 by The American College of Gastroenterology

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