ESNM/ANMS Review. Diagnosis and management of globus sensation: A clinical challenge

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2020 Sep;32(9):e13850. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13850. Epub 2020 Apr 23.


Globus is a non-painful sensation of a tightness or a lump/foreign body in the throat that is not associated with dysphagia and may actually improve during meals. While several otorhinolaryngologic, thyroid, and esophageal disorders have been linked to globus, cause-and-effect relationships are difficult to establish. Consequently, though part of the evaluation, objective otorhinolaryngologic and esophageal testing is often negative. The presence of alarm symptoms, particularly pain, weight loss, dysphagia, or odynophagia is indications for objective testing. A diagnosis of idiopathic globus requires exclusion of pharyngeal, laryngeal, and esophageal disorders with laryngoscopy, endoscopy, high-resolution manometry, barium radiography, and/or ambulatory reflux monitoring. A trial of acid-suppressive therapy may be reasonable in the absence of alarm symptoms, especially if concurrent reflux symptoms are identified. Ablation of heterotopic gastric mucosa in the proximal esophagus has been reported to improve globus symptoms. Beyond these specific approaches, further management of idiopathic globus consists of reassurance, neuromodulators, and complementary approaches. Globus has a benign course with no long-term consequences, and the overall prognosis is good as the magnitude of symptoms may decline over time.

Keywords: ambulatory reflux monitoring; globus; high-resolution manometry; neuromodulators; videofluoroscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy
  • Globus Sensation / diagnosis*
  • Globus Sensation / therapy
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Manometry