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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Feb;266(2):253-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0744-3. Epub 2008 Jul 5.

The influence of laryngopharyngeal reflux in the healing of laryngeal trauma.

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ENT Department, G.Genimmatas General hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.


The aim of this clinical study was to evaluate the effect of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) on the healing process of surgical laryngeal trauma. A total of 112 consecutive patients, who suffered from LPR and were scheduled for operation of Reinke edema or laryngeal polyps/nodules (40 and 72 patients, respectively) during a period of 5 years, were included. Diagnosis of LPR was made on the basis of both history and dual pH probe recording during 24 h in the inferior esophagus and the hypopharynx. The reflux finding score (RFS) and the reflux symptom index (RSI) were used to estimate the clinical severity of LPR. In patients with LPR, proton pump inhibitors (PPI) were initiated in half of them, randomly chosen. Fifty LPR-free subjects operated for Reinke edema or laryngeal polyps during the same time period (19 and 31 patients, respectively) were used as controls. In six patients who had been administered PPI, resolution of the disease was observed and no surgical treatment was undertaken. The remaining patients were operated on under general anesthesia by a single surgeon. All patients had 1-year postoperative follow-up. Epithelization was complete in all vocal cords of both the control group and the group of patients who had been administered PPI. Within the group of patients who had not taken PPI, six patients presented granulation tissue or recurrence of the polyps and in two of them revision surgery was needed. RFS and RSI scores showed significant improvement postoperatively, across all the three groups of patients, with major differences observed in the group treated by PPI. Comparison of the postoperative RFS and RSI scores between the two groups of patients with LPR showed statistically significant differences in both, indicating better treatment outcome in those patients who had received PPI. It may be thus concluded that LPR influences epithelization and recurrence of laryngeal polyps or Reinke edema in vocal cords, after partial or total decortication. Surgical outcome is superior in patients with LPR with preoperative and postoperative anti-reflux treatment.

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