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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-72

Laryngopharyngeal reflux: an overview on the disease and diagnostic approach

1 Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Department of Department of ENT (Phoniatric Unit), Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
3 Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Asmaa M Hassan
Phoniatric Unit, Department of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCMRP.JCMRP_5_17

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Background Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) can be defined as chronic symptoms or laryngeal mucosal damage caused by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the upper airway. LPR plays an important role in up to 50% of laryngeal complaints that present in the otolaryngeal clinic, and the symptomatology of LPR has more different presentation. LPR is suspected in the presence of symptoms of hoarseness, dysphagia, cough, globus, excessive mucus, throat pain, throat clearing, and laryngospasm. Diagnosis of LPR is confirmed using the following: reflux symptom index (RSI), laryngoscopic examination [reflux finding score (RFS)], and esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Patients and methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 60 patients with typical gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and laryngeal complaints; these studied patients were recruited from patients who attended the outpatient clinic of Tropical Medicine and Gastroenterology, and Phoniatric Unit, Assiut University Hospital. The symptom questionnaire and the classification proposed by Belafsky and his colleagues (RSI) are used and upper endoscopy is performed for the diagnosis of GERD patients. Nasofibrolaryngoscopy for all these patients was performed to compare the results (RFS). Psychiatric assessment was performed by a psychiatric specialist using symptoms checklist revised 90. Patients with a score more than 60 will be re-evaluated using the following questionnaires: Hamilton checklist of symptoms of depressive illness and Hamilton rating scale for anxiety. Results All studied patients showed positive RSI (100%) and diagnostic endoscopy showed GERD in 58 (96.7%) patients, and 32 (53.3%) of them were found to have a positive finding in laryngoscopy; the findings were as follows: vascular congestion and vocal cord hyperemia in 32 (100%) patients, vocal cord edema in 26 (81%), phonatory gap in 13 (40%), subglottic edema in 12 (37%), vocal cord swelling in 10 (31.25%), and contact granuloma in eight (25%). A positive significant correlation was detected between phonasthenia symptoms, mostly lump sensation, hoarseness, throat clearing, and dry mouth (symptoms), and laryngeal finding (RFS), except for difficulty in swallowing saliva. There is a strong association between psychological symptoms and the presence of LPR; the most commonly detected manifestation was anxiety, and there was a positive significant correlation with anxiety and a negative significant correlation between depression and reflux symptoms. Conclusion RSI and RFS could be useful for the diagnosis and evaluation of LPR in patients with GERD complaining of laryngeal symptoms. Psychological intervention can improve the general well-being and quality of life of patients with gastrointestinal symptoms.

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