Aurora, Colo. (Aug. 24, 2022) – Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) has announced a new, care-changing test designed by its physicians to monitor inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract by painlessly collecting samples while the patient remains awake and alert, saving patients more costly and invasive testing that includes having to receive anesthesia.
“I began this project when I joined Children’s Colorado in 2007,” said pediatric gastroenterologist Glenn T. Furuta. “We knew there had to be options to save our patients from having to go under anesthesia in order to obtain results that would tell us much-needed information about their conditions. We are thrilled at the outcome of this product and the real changes in care this will provide not just our patients, but patients across the country as this technology becomes available for other hospitals to use. It’s truly a game changer in the delivery of care.”
The EnteroTracker – commonly referred to as the “string test” – was developed by Children’s Colorado pediatric gastroenterologist Glenn Furuta, M.D.; Robin Shandas, Ph.D., professor and chair of bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, College of Engineering, Design and Computing; and Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.
The EnteroTracker provides low-cost, accurate analysis of esophageal content and identifies the presence of esophageal inflammation, allowing for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. The test is simple. A patient simply swallows a secured capsule that is composed of a specialty string. As it makes its way to the small intestine, it continues to unravel. In just minutes, a clinician can gently remove the string and after sending to our labs at Children’s Colorado can quickly identify sections of the string that correspond to regions of the GI tract, using pH and distance markings. Watch a video of it in use here.
The test has been shown effective in monitoring inflammatory eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and may have uses in other diseases including severe gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE), food allergic enteropathy (FAE) and inflammatory bowel disease (lBD). These diseases can be difficult to monitor with blood tests, and radio-imaging cannot sample these parts of the GI tract easily.
EnteroTrack develops simple-to-use, minimally invasive technologies to sample gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal content that can be assayed for various biomarkers of disease. The company’s platform technology, the EnteroTracker® is initially being used to support clinical monitoring of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in adults and children without need for sedation, advanced training, or complex procedures. Clinical studies evaluating the utility of the EnteroTracker® for additional applications including Esophageal Adenocarcinoma, Barrett’s Esophagus, GERD, GI microbiome, food allergy testing, and others are currently underway. Visit www.enterotrack.com.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO
Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most expansive nonprofit pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top 10 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including an academic medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, and outreach clinics across the region. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.