Globus pharyngeus: a review of its etiology, diagnosis and treatment

World J Gastroenterol. 2012 May 28;18(20):2462-71. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i20.2462.


Globus is a persistent or intermittent non-painful sensation of a lump or foreign body in the throat. It is a commonly encountered clinical condition that is usually long-lasting, difficult to treat, and has a tendency to recur. Furthermore, due to the uncertain etiology of globus, it remains difficult to establish standard investigation and treatment strategies for affected patients. As a first step for managing globus, careful history taking and nasolaryngoscopy are essential. Given the benign nature of the condition and the recent notion that gastroesophageal reflux disease is a major cause of globus, empirical therapy with a high dose of proton pump inhibitors is reasonable for patients with typical globus. If patients are nonresponsive to this therapy, definitive assessments such as endoscopy, multichannel intraluminal impedance/pH monitoring, and manometry should be considered. Speech and language therapy, anti-depressants, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be helpful in patients whose symptoms persist despite negative investigations.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Globus; Proton pump inhibitor; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / etiology*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / therapy
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Sensation*
  • Speech Therapy


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors