Article

Predictors of outcome in an open label, therapeutic trial of high-dose omeprazole in laryngitis

Department of Gastroenterology, St George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 9.21). 06/2004; 99(5):777-85. DOI: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2004.04151.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gastroesophageal reflux is implicated in some cases of laryngitis. There are no established predictors of response to acid suppression therapy in suspected reflux laryngitis.
In a population with laryngitis, the aim is to determine whether (a) omeprazole 20 mg tds (3 months) improves symptoms and laryngitis, and (b) the outcome in response to potent acid suppression can be predicted by esophageal and/or pharyngeal parameters during ambulatory pH monitoring or by other pretreatment variables.
From the 70 consecutive patients with laryngitis screened, 20 patients met the inclusion criteria (dysphonia >3 months; laryngoscopically demonstrated laryngitis); and 50 patients were excluded because of one or more criteria indicating alternative causes for laryngeal injury. The primary outcome measure was improvement of at least one level in a 4-point laryngitis grading at 3 months. Twenty-four-hour dual, pharyngo-esophageal pH monitoring was performed at baseline. Secondary outcomes (symptom questionnaire; computerized voice analysis) were measured at baseline, and at 6 and 12 wk.
Response rates at 6 and 12 wk were 47% and 63%, respectively. GERD symptoms (heartburn (p= 0.03) and regurgitation (p= 0.0001)) improved. However, neither baseline GERD symptoms nor endoscopic findings predicted laryngoscopic or symptomatic response. Neither baseline laryngitis grade (p= 0.46) nor esophageal acid exposure on pH testing (p= 0.3) predicted outcome. Four of 20 patients demonstrated pharyngeal regurgitation on pH testing, all four of whom responded to potent acid suppression (p= 0.2). Computerized voice measures were not predictive of outcome, although fundamental frequency (Fo) was inversely related to baseline laryngoscopic grade.
In a carefully defined population of patients with laryngitis (a) 63% have a laryngoscopic response to 3 months of potent acid suppression without significant improvement in laryngeal symptoms; (b) neither voice measures, esophageal acid exposure time, symptoms nor severity of laryngitis predict outcome; and (c) although numbers were small, all patients with a positive pharyngeal pH study responded to therapy and pharyngeal pH-metry may prove useful; (4) available evidence supports an empiric trial of high-dose proton pump inhibitors (PPI), for at least 12 wk, as the initial diagnostic step for suspected reflux laryngitis.

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