GERD’s First Cousin: Another Problem with Breath Tests

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) are somewhat similar diseases that seem to be reaching epidemic proportions. Millions of Americans suffer from their sequelae, ranging from subtle annoyances to life-threatening illnesses such as asthma, sleep apnea, and cancer.

The recognized prevalence of GERD alone increased threefold throughout the 990’s.  LPR is reflux of gastric contents into the throat and larynx (voice box). This disease is different and distinct from GERD. The anatomic proximity of reflux into throat and larynx increases the potential for distortion of breath alcohol test results.

In order for a health care professional to be prepared to testify in a DUI case, he or she must review the following:

Pertinent previous medical records to establish the diagnosis of LPR.

Symptoms essential to the diagnosis of LPR.

A detailed timeline of food and drink consumed prior to the breath test administration because certain foods and drinks are known to worsen LPR.

Last but not least, we recommend that the doctor present to the jury a brief laptop explanation of the anatomy and physiology relevant to the understanding of LPR. One picture is worth a thousand words is as true now as it was 100 years ago.

Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.