Diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease with digital imaging

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003 Jan;128(1):103-8. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2003.10.


Objective: The study goal was to assess the use of digital laryngeal videostroboscopy (LVS) in the detection of objective improvement of the larynx after 6 weeks of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy and to evaluate a clinical grading scale for findings of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD).

Study design and setting: We conducted a prospective analysis of digital LVS examinations from a tertiary referral center for laryngology by 3 independent blinded examiners.

Results: The mean score on the Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease Index for experimental patients was significantly higher than that for control patients (9.50 versus 2.92, P < 0.001), and posttreatment scores were significantly lower than pretreatment scores (7.35 versus 9.50, P < 0.001). Useful items on the grading scale for assessing the presence of LPRD and improvement in LPRD included supraglottic edema and erythema, glottic edema and erythema, and subglottic edema and erythema. Nonuseful items included the presence of pachydermia, granulomas, nodules, leukoplakia, and polyps.

Conclusion: Objective improvement of signs of LPRD can be detected after 6 weeks of PPI therapy using digital LVS. The Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease Index is a useful valid clinical tool for following treatment response to PPI therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / complications
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Laryngoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / complications
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents