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Authors McMurray JS, Gerber M, Stern Y, Walner D, Rudolph C, Willging JP, Cotton RT
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Journal Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. Volume: 110 Issue: 4 Pages: 299-304
Publish Date 2001 Apr
PubMed ID 11307903

There is no standard for determining significant pharyngoesophageal reflux. This prospective blind comparison study compared dual pH probe studies, direct laryngoscopy, and mucosal biopsy in children without symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux who underwent airway evaluation. Significant reflux to the lower esophageal probe did not correlate with statistical significance with reflux to the upper probe. In this group of asymptomatic patients, a positive lower pH probe finding did not correlate with upper or lower esophageal mucosal inflammation. Eosinophilia in the esophageal mucosa is diagnostic of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and was seen in 5 of the laryngeal biopsies. A weak correlation was seen between positive findings at laryngoscopy and positive posterior cricoid biopsy in this group. There may be no consistent way to predict significant pharyngoesophageal reflux in asymptomatic patients. Single-probe pH testing will not predict significant pharyngoesophageal reflux with mucosal changes. Laryngoscopy and upper pH probe findings only weakly correlate with significant histologic findings. Laryngeal and posterior cricoid biopsy may be the only sensitive test for mucosal injury. Clinical trials of empiric antireflux therapy should be used to determine whether the laryngeal changes seen in these patients are reversible. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System