OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine the prevalence and characteristics of pharyngeal acid reflux (PAR) events in single and multiple otolaryngologic disorders. METHODS: Sixty-seven patients with otolaryngologic symptoms and objective findings and 34 healthy control subjects were studied with an ambulatory 24-hour, 3-site pharyngoesophageal pH monitoring technique. Otolaryngologic diagnosis included isolated posterior laryngitis (PL) in 28 patients, isolated chronic rhinosinusitis (SIN) in 12, combined PL and SIN (PL+SIN) in 6, PL plus laryngotracheal stenosis (PL+LTS) in 12, and PL plus vocal cord nodules (PL+VCN) in 9. RESULTS: PAR events were documented in 68% of patients with PL, 34% of patients with SIN, 67% of patients with PL+SIN, 67% of patients with PL+LTS, 78% of patients with PL+VCN, and 21% of controls. The prevalence of PAR events in patients with isolated PL as well as those with PL combined with other disorders was significantly higher than that in patients without PL and that in controls. As a group, patients with PL had a greater number of PAR events and acid exposure time than other patients and controls. Distal and proximal esophageal reflux parameters were not significantly different among groups. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of PAR is significantly higher in patients with isolated PL compared to patients with other isolated otolaryngologic disorders and in controls. The prevalence of PAR in isolated otolaryngologlc disorders other than PL is similar to that in healthy controls. The prevalence of PAR is significantly higher in patients with both PL and other otolaryngologic disorders than in controls and in patients with isolated otolaryngologic disorders.
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