Objectives: The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in patients with laryngopharyngeal disorders is probably greater than realized.
Study design: Prospective study.
Methods: To investigate the incidence of gastroenterological diseases including GERD in patients complaining of nonspecific laryngopharyngeal symptoms, laryngological examinations and gastroenterological evaluation with esophagogastroduodenoscopy were performed in 30 patients who refused to undergo 24-hour pH monitoring. Therapeutic intervention by behavioural and dietary modifications, antireflux medication, and eradication of Helicobacter pylori were assessed for changes in laryngeal findings and relief of symptoms.
Results: Posterior laryngitis was present in 26 patients and in 19 of them was accompanied by erythema and edema of the interarytenoid region. Gastroenterological diseases such as GERD (43%), hiatal hernia (43%), and Helicobacter pylori-positive antrum gastritis (23%) were confirmed in 22 (73%) cases by esophagogastroduodenoscopy and histological examination of biopsy specimens. Medical antireflux treatment and eradication of Helicobacter pylori resulted in a remarkably therapeutic success rate of 90% because there was resolution of laryngopharyngeal symptoms and laryngeal findings in 20 of 22 patients with gastroenterological diseases for the mean follow-up period of 8 months.
Conclusions: Laryngopharyngeal symptoms can be predictors of gastroesophageal diseases and GERD because the most frequent underlying cause is supposed to be associated with posterior laryngitis. Medical antireflux treatment is effective for relief of symptoms and mucosal healing of posterior laryngitis.