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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2007 June;53(2):181-7

language: English

Laryngeal disorders in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease

Farrokhi F., Vaezi M. F.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Center for Swallowing and Esophageal Disorders Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN, USA


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common medical condition affecting approximately 35-40% of the adult population in the western world. Chronic laryngeal signs and symptoms associated with GERD are often referred to as reflux laryngitis or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). It is estimated that up to 15% of all visits to the otolaryngology offices are because of manifestations of LPR. Injury may occur as a result of one or chronic reflux of gastroduodenal contents directly injuring the laryngeal mucosa. Since less amount of acid is required to make the injury to the larynx as compared to injury to esophagus; it is believed that intermittent exposure to small amount of gastric content can result in laryngitis. The most common presenting symptoms of LPR include hoarseness, sore throat, throat clearing, and chronic cough. The diagnosis of LPR is usually made on the basis of presenting symptoms and associated laryngeal signs including laryngeal edema and erythema. Current recommendation for management for of this group of patients is empiric therapy with twice daily proton-pump inhibitors for 2 to 4 months. In majority of those who are unresponsive to such therapy other causes of laryngeal irritation is considered. Surgical fundoplication is most effective in those who are responsive to acid suppressive therapy.

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