Prevalence of reflux in 113 consecutive patients with laryngeal and voice disorders

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Oct;123(4):385-8. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2000.109935.


Objectives: The goal was to estimate the prevalence of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) in patients with laryngeal and voice disorders.

Study design and setting: This was a prospective study of 113 unselected, new patients with laryngeal and voice disorders. Patients completed an extensive medical history form including a reflux symptom profile. A comprehensive otolaryngologic examination was performed with photographic transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopy. Patients with both symptoms and findings of LPR (78/133, 69%) underwent ambulatory 24-hour double-probe pH monitoring.

Results: Seventy-three percent (57/78) of patients undergoing pH testing had abnormal studies. Thus 50% (57/113) of the entire the study population had pH-documented reflux. Of the diagnostic sub-groups studied, the highest incidence of reflux was found in patients with vocal cord neoplastic lesions (88%) and patients with muscle tension dysphonias (70%). LPR was infrequently found in patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Conclusion: LPR occurs in at least 50% of all patients at our center with laryngeal and voice disorders at presentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Laryngeal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / epidemiology*