Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 2434–2441 | Cite as

Sep70/Pepsin expression in hypopharynx combined with hypopharyngeal multichannel intraluminal impedance increases diagnostic sensitivity of laryngopharyngeal reflux

  • Toshitaka Hoppo
  • Ali H. Zaidi
  • Daisuke Matsui
  • Samantha A. Martin
  • Yoshihiro Komatsu
  • Emily J. Lloyd
  • Juliann E. Kosovec
  • Albert A. Civitarese
  • Natalie H. Boyd
  • Amit Shetty
  • Ashten N. Omstead
  • Emily Smith
  • Blair A. Jobe



Improved methods of diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) would enable surgeons to better identify patients who may benefit from antireflux surgery (ARS). The objective of the present study was to assess if hypopharyngeal Pepsin and Sep70 expression combined with hypopharyngeal multichannel intraluminal impedance (HMII) has the potential to increase diagnostic sensitivity of LPR.


This study was performed on patients who underwent unsedated transnasal endoscopy with hypopharyngeal biopsy and 24-h HMII to determine abnormal proximal exposure (APE) and DeMeester score (DMS) from 2013 to 2016. Pepsin and Sep70 protein expression was assessed by Western blots of biopsy specimens. The outcomes of ARS were assessed using reflux symptom index (RSI). HMII APE classification, Sep 70, and Pepsin protein levels were compared in normative and symptomatic LPR patients and further analyzed alongside quality of life changes following ARS.


Of 30 subjects enrolled, 23 were excluded for abnormal HMII results or endoscopic evidence of esophagitis. Seven subjects and 105 patients were included in the normative and symptomatic groups, respectively. Compared to the normative group, only Pepsin expression was significantly higher in the symptomatic group [APE+/LPR+ (p = 0.000), APE+/LPR− (p = 0.001), and APE− (p = 0.047)]. Further, the ratio of Sep70/Pepsin was significantly lower in the symptomatic group [APE+/LPR+ (p = 0.008), APE+/LPR− (p = 0.000), and APE− (p = 0.050)], and a cutoff ratio for a diagnosis of LPR was established as < 158. Of 105 symptomatic patients, 48 patients underwent ARS. Of these, 17 patients had complete pre- and post-RSI questionnaires. LPR symptoms improved in 15 (88%), of whom 2 were APE− but met criteria for a diagnosis of LPR based on the Sep70/Pepsin cutoff.


The identified Sep70/Pepsin ratio may serve as a reliable biomarker for the diagnosis of LPR. As a result, this may help identify additional patients who have a false-negative HMII result due to the 24-h testing window.


Laryngopharyngeal reflux Hypopharyngeal multichannel intraluminal impedance Sep70 Pepsin 



We would like to thank David Gold and Irene Blumenkranz for funding support.

Compliance with ethical standards


T. Hoppo, A. H. Zaidi, D. Matsui, S. A. Martin, Y. Komatsu, E. J. Lloyd, J. E. Kosovec. A. A. Civitarese, N. H. Boyd, A. Shetty, A. N. Omstead, E. Smith, and B. A. Jobe have no conflict of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Supplementary material

464_2017_5943_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshitaka Hoppo
    • 1
  • Ali H. Zaidi
    • 1
  • Daisuke Matsui
    • 1
  • Samantha A. Martin
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Komatsu
    • 1
  • Emily J. Lloyd
    • 1
  • Juliann E. Kosovec
    • 1
  • Albert A. Civitarese
    • 1
  • Natalie H. Boyd
    • 1
  • Amit Shetty
    • 1
  • Ashten N. Omstead
    • 1
  • Emily Smith
    • 1
  • Blair A. Jobe
    • 1
  1. 1.Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health NetworkPittsburghUSA

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