To assess benefit from one and three months' empirical proton pump inhibitor treatment in patients with suspected laryngopharyngeal reflux, and to define pre-therapy factors which may predict success with short-term proton pump inhibitor treatment.
Prospective, open clinical study.
One hundred adult out-patients with suspected laryngopharyngeal reflux were enrolled in the study. Laryngopharyngeal reflux patients underwent endoscopy and received omeprazole for three months. Efficacy of treatment was assessed at one and three months. Patients were classified as responders if their total symptom score had improved at least 50 per cent, their videolaryngoscopic score had improved by at least two points, and they were satisfied with the results. Pre-therapy factors assessed for an effect on omeprazole outcomes included: patient demographics, reflux symptoms, videolaryngoscopic scores, endoscopic findings, overall vocal dysfunction degree, self-rated voice handicap index, hospital anxiety and depression scale scores, and general well-being score.
Fifty-six per cent of patients were classified as responders at one month of treatment; this proportion rose to 92 per cent at three months. Those patients entering the study with a higher heartburn score showed a significant response after one month of omeprazole treatment. Non-responders were found to have significantly more anxiety than responders. Logistic regression analysis revealed these factors, plus the medication dose, as being relevant for faster response prediction. No significant association was found between pre-therapy factors and three-month response to proton pump inhibitor treatment.
Three months of proton pump inhibitor treatment twice daily is warranted for confirming suspicion of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Baseline anxiety levels and heartburn scores, and the medication dose, may be relevant factors when predicting faster response to proton pump inhibitor treatment in carefully selected patients.