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Otorinolaringologia 2004 March;54(1):33-6


language: Italian

Clinical study of laryngeal complications in gastro-esophageal reflux disease: personal contribution

Farri A. 1, Enrico A. 2, Pecorari G. C. 1, Andreis M. 1, Giordano C. 1

1 Clinica ORL, Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino 2 Ospedale Materno Infantile Regina Margherita S. Anna, Torino


Aim. Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by an enormous variability of clinical expression and cases that present with so-called “atypical” symptoms, which oblige the patient to turn to consultants other than the gastroenterologist, like the ear, nose and throat specialist, for example, are by no means rare. Owing to their particular anatomical position, the districts of otorhinolaryngological pertinence represent the upper tract of the airways, but also of the digestive ways and they are therefore almost always involved in organic and functional changes in the digestive and respiratory systems. The authors aimed to assess the type and incidence of supra-esophageal complications of otohinolaryngological pertinence in patients suffering from GERD, also providing a targeted therapeutic pharmacological, surgical and logopedic approach.
Methods. A sample of 65 patients (34 women, 31 men, average age 45.5) was recruited from the outpatients clinic of the Ist Division of the Ear Nose and Throat Department of the University of Turin during the half-year period June-November 2002. The patients were suffering from laryngeal pathologies associated with GERD.
Results. The following laryngeal clinical complications were encountered: a) laryngitis (21 patients); b) vocal nodules (4 patients); c) Reinke’s oedema (6 patients); d) contact ulcers and granulomas (9 patients); e) laryngeal stenosis (2 patients); f) paroxysmal laryngospasm (2 patients); pharyngeal globe (19 patients); h) neoplastic processes (2 patients).
Conclusion. The symptomatology and clinical picture were controlled successfully by pharmacological therapy organised together with the gastroenterologist. Surgical therapy improved the symptomatology in synergy with the pharamcological control of GERD. Logopedic treatment completed the good results obtained with the previous therapies, especially as regards the prevention of recurrences by way of the new, correct respiratory and phonatory organisation, together with hygienic and dietetic standards and biofeedback techniques.

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