The role of the oesophago-gastric junction (OGJ) in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is still not completely understood, and there is no clinically used method to assess the OGJ function in patients. Only indirect methods such as pH studies are carried out. The OGJ acts a valve controlling the flow of solids, liquids and gases between the oesophagus and the stomach. Manometry can determine if a sphincter is toned or relaxed; but, it cannot confirm that the sphincter region is actually open. Distension is a new technique for measuring function in the OGJ. By measuring the cross-sectional area through the narrow region in the junction during distension of a catheter mounted bag, much more information on the opening and closing patterns of the junction can be determined. This technique has already been demonstrated to show changes in the OGJ after surgical treatments for reflux disease. New measurement ideas around the concept of distending the OGJ offer new hope that a clinically useable test for compliance at the junction can be developed and could potentially help in determining appropriate therapy
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