Reflux and aerodigestive tract diseases

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Feb;270(2):417-23. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2085-5. Epub 2012 Jul 7.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease can present with a wide variety of extraesophageal symptoms. In particular, the type of disease characterized predominately by laryngopharyngeal reflux may be difficult to diagnose because of the absence of regurgitation or heartburn. The available battery of diagnostic tools is often insufficient to confirm a diagnosis of reflux, so the diagnosis is often made by elimination. In many cases, treatment with proton pump inhibitors will relieve symptoms and respiratory complications, despite the persistence of non-acidic reflux. Such treatment is often employed to "confirm" the diagnosis, as measured by patient response. Many diseases have been related to this condition in the literature. The authors review knowledge about these manifestations and their relationship with refluxed gastric content. Physiopathology, symptoms and treatment are reviewed in order to clarify our understanding of laryngopharyngeal reflux diseases and related manifestations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / complications*
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases / complications*