Incidental Laryngeal Findings in Routine Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Diagnosis

Forsan Jahshan, Tal Marshak, Jamal Qarawany, Boaz Markel, Amiel Sberro, Yonatan Lahav, Eli Layous, Netanel Eisenbach, Isaac Shochat, Eyal Sela, Ohad Ronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) refers to the backflow of acidic stomach content into the larynx, pharynx, and upper aerodigestive tract. The diagnosis of LPR is based on the patient's history and findings of the laryngoscopy associated with LPR. Other possible manifestations consistent with LPR symptoms include laryngeal cancer, vocal fold granulomas, Reinke's space edema, and vocal polyps. In this study, we compared the characteristics of patients with LPR symptoms and incidental laryngeal findings (ILF) in the la-ryngoscopic evaluation to those without ILF (WILF). Objectives: Determine the characteristics of LPR-symptom-atic patients with ILF versus WILF. Methods: In this retrospective study, we examined 160 medical charts from patients referred to the otolaryngology clinic at Galilee Medical Center for LPR evaluation 2016-2018. The reflux symptoms index (RSI), reflux finding score (RFS), and demographics of the patient were collected. All patients with a positive RSI score for LPR (RSI > 9) were included, and the profiles of patients with versus without ILF on laryngoscopy examination were compared. Results: Of the 160 patients, 20 (12.5%) had ILF during laryngoscopy. Most had vocal cord findings such as leukoplakia (20%), polyps (15%), and nodules (20%). Hoarseness, throat clearing, swallowing difficulty, breathing difficulties, and total RSI score were significantly higher in patients with ILF. Conclusions: Evaluation of LPR symptoms may provide otolaryngologists with a tool to identify patients with other findings on fiberoptic laryngoscopy. A laryngoscopic examination should be part of the examination of every patient with LPR to enable diagnosis of incidental findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 Israel Medical Association. All rights reserved.


  • fiberoptic laryngoscopy
  • incidental laryngeal findings (ILF)
  • laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)
  • reflux finding score (RFS)
  • reflux symptom index (RSI)


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