Patients with symptoms of extraesophageal reflux may not be eager to undergo 24-hour pH probe monitoring for the sake of a definitive diagnosis. It has been anecdotally noted that extraesophageal reflux can be detected during an endoscopic swallowing evaluation. The purpose of this pilot study was to demonstrate that flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing (FEESST) can be implemented to identify and subsequently treat patients with extraesophageal reflux. Over a 6-month period, FEESST was prospectively performed in 20 healthy control subjects and in 20 patients with dysphagia. The dysphagic patients did not have a history of stroke or chronic neurologic disease. Attention was specifically directed toward noting the presence or absence of reflux into the laryngopharynx during the endoscopic swallowing evaluation. None of the control subjects were noted to have reflux during FEESST, but 18 of the 20 patients with dysphagia were found to have reflux during the evaluation; this difference was statistically significant (p < .001, Fisher's exact test). We conclude that FEESST is useful as a means of diagnosing extraesophageal reflux in patients with dysphagia.
- Gastroesophageal reflux
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