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Laryngoscope. 2007 Aug;117(8):1424-8.

Prevalence of laryngopharyngeal reflux in a population with gastroesophageal reflux.

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Department of Digestive Diseases and Clinical Nutrition, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland.



Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a syndrome associated with a constellation of symptoms usually treated by ENT surgeons. It is believed to be caused by the retrograde flow of stomach contents into the laryngopharynx, this being a supra-esophageal manifestation of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It has been cited that LPR and GERD can be considered separate entities. Our hypothesis was that LPR is a supra-esophageal manifestation of GERD and therefore that patients with GERD should have a degree of symptoms suggestive of LPR because of the reflux of the gastric contents. We examined a population of patients with both upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and symptom-proven GERD and, using a questionnaire, looked at their existing symptoms to help assess the prevalence of LPR. We also looked at whether, with more severe GERD (suggestive of increased gastric content reflux), the degree of symptoms suggestive of LPR would be increased, as would be expected.


A population of patients with endoscopically proven GERD were recruited and divided into groups depending on the severity of their reflux disease. A questionnaire was then administered that examined both LPR and GERD scoring criteria. The relationship between GERD and LPR was then analyzed.


We recruited 1,383 subjects with GERD; those with severe GERD had significantly higher LPR scores compared with those with mild (P < .01), moderate (P < .05), or inactive disease (P < .001).


The condition of LPR is likely to represent a supra-esophageal manifestation of GERD. This study examined a large number of patients with endoscopically proven GERD and has demonstrated a correlation between the severity of GERD and the prevalence of LPR. LPR and GERD are common and interlinked conditions. The subsequent prevalence of LPR in the population with GERD is therefore likely to be dramatically underestimated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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