Laryngopharyngeal reflux: Trends in diagnostic interpretation criteria

Brynn E. Richardson, Barbara M. Heywood, H. Steven Sims, Julie Stoner, Donald A. Leopold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is becoming recognized as a clinical entity with a variety of presentations distinct from those of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, much uncertainty remains as to what is considered pathologic versus physiologic reflux. The aim of the study was to determine the normal range of pharyngeal reflux (PR) occurring in healthy adults based on pH-monitoring parameters utilized in the DeMeester scoring system for GERD. We have reviewed the current pool of prospective literature examining ambulatory dual-channel pH-monitoring study data derived from hypopharyngeal proximal probes in normal adults. From our review we have identified trends in several monitoring parameters based on the DeMeester scoring system for GERD. Our discussion recognizes and accepts the limitations imposed by small sample sizes and the number of healthy individuals that would be required to determine the general adult physiologic range of PR. We also explore the possible need for separate normal PR reference intervals based on age or gender disparities. Additional discussion and the summary address future directions for LPR research notably, (1) identification of the most appropriate research paradigm for LPR (i.e., pH 4 vs. 5), (2) establishing reproducibility for the appropriate LPR research paradigm, and (3) complementary modalities to ambulatory dual-channel pH monitoring for the study of acid and nonacid bolus movement within the esophagus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Acid reflux
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Extraesophageal reflux
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • Pharyngeal reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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