Paroxysmal laryngospasm secondary to gastroesophageal reflux

Laryngoscope. 1996 Dec;106(12 Pt 1):1502-5. doi: 10.1097/00005537-199612000-00011.


Over a 2-year period (1992 to 1994), 12 consecutive adult patients with paroxysmal laryngospasm were prospectively studied. All had had other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GER); however, only 4 (33%) experienced symptoms of heartburn. Each patient underwent fiberoptic laryngeal examination, barium swallow/esophagography, and ambulatory, 24-hour, double-probe pH monitoring (pH-metry). Eleven (92%) of the 12 patients had evidence of GER on examination, and 10 (83%) had abnormal pH-metry, including 3 who demonstrated pharyngeal reflux while having normal total acid exposure times in the esophageal probe. All the patients responded to antireflux treatment, using dietary and lifestyle modifications and omeprazole, with complete cessation of the laryngospastic episodes. This study documents the role of GER in the etiology of paroxysmal laryngospasm, it highlights the advantages of double-probe pH-metry in diagnosing this extraesophageal manifestation of GER, and it demonstrates that antireflux therapy with omeprazole is effective in controlling GER-induced laryngospasm.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Laryngismus / drug therapy
  • Laryngismus / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Omeprazole