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Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2005;30(3-4):120-4.

Voice disorders and gastroesophageal reflux.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) can cause serious voice problems and laryngopharyngeal disorders influencing the patient's quality of life. Forty-three patients with suspected laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) were included into a prospective study. The diagnosis was made on the basis of the patient's history, the videoendolaryngoscopy, the oesophago-gastroscopy and the biopsy of the oesophageal mucosa. All the LPR patients were treated with esomeprasol for eight weeks. An acoustic analysis of the vowel /a/ samples was performed in the LPR group before and after the treatment. Thirty-six patients with vocal fold polyps served as the control group for a subjective estimation of the voice problems. All the patients from both groups subjectively evaluated their voice problems using the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) questionnaire. The results of VHI showed that the severity of the voice problems of the patients with LPR could be compared to that experienced by the patients with vocal fold polyps. Videoendolaryngoscopy and history proved LPR in all 43 patients. Oesophago-gastroscopy combined with the histopathological examination of the oesophageal biopsy specimens detected signs of possible GER in 38 patients (88%). The results of the videoendolaryngoscopy combined with a subjective and objective voice assessment, performed before and after treatment with a proton-pump inhibitor, showed a significant improvement in most of the studied parameters by the end of the therapy. In the diagnostics of LPR, the patient's history and videoendolaryngoscopy demonstrated to be superior to oesophago-gastroscopy. Videoendolaryngoscopic assessment of the laryngeal mucosa, and oesophago-gastroscopy supplemented with a biopsy of the oesophageal mucosa, showed to be a convenient diagnostic method when GER and LPR were suspected. Esomeprasol proved to be very effective in the treatment of LPR. LPR should not be overlooked in the treatment of dysphonic patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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