Gastropharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux in globus and hoarseness

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Jul;126(7):827-30. doi: 10.1001/archotol.126.7.827.


Background: The role of gastropharyngeal reflux in patients with globus pharyngeus and hoarseness remains unclear.

Objective: To evaluate patients with complaints of globus, hoarseness, or globus and hoarseness combined for the presence of gastropharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux.

Design: Prospective clinical cohort study of 3 groups of patients undergoing ambulatory 24-hour double-probe pH monitoring. In patients with pathologic gastroesophageal reflux, an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was also performed.

Setting: Tertiary care, outpatient clinic.

Patients: Twenty-seven patients with globus alone, 20 patients with hoarseness alone, and 25 patients with globus and hoarseness combined.

Results: Patients with well-defined pathologic reflux (ie, gastroesophageal reflux with or without gastropharyngeal reflux) were present mainly in the group of patients with globus combined with hoarseness: 18 (72%) of 25 patients, compared with 7 (35%) of 20 patients with hoarseness alone and 8 (30%) of 27 with globus alone. Seven (10%) of all 72 patients had prolonged acid exposure at the laryngopharyngeal junction in the presence of a normal gastroesophageal pH registration. Abnormal findings in the esophagus were found at endoscopy in 17 (65%) of 26 patients with pathologic gastroesophageal reflux (with or without gastropharyngeal reflux).

Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of pathologic reflux in patients with both globus and hoarseness. Based on these findings, we strongly advise upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for symptomatic otolaryngological patients with pathologic gastroesophageal reflux.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deglutition
  • Female
  • Gastric Acidity Determination
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Hoarseness / complications
  • Hoarseness / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / complications
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Prospective Studies