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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 142 No. 1112 (2012)

Extraesophageal manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease: cough, asthma, laryngitis, chest pain

  • Elif Saritas Yuksel
  • Michael Vaezi
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2012;142:w13544


Gastroesophageal reflux is a common condition affecting many patients in different parts of the world. It usually presents with the classic manifestations of heartburn and regurgitation; however, in some it can also present with extraesophageal manifestations such as chronic cough, laryngitis, asthma or chest pain. Commonly employed diagnostic tests such as esophagogastroduodenoscopy and ambulatory pH or impedance monitoring in gastroesophageal reflux, are less useful in extraesophageal syndromes due to their poor sensitivity and specificity. In contrast, empiric trials of PPI’s are shown to be cost effective; however, patients may require long-term treatment to establish effectiveness. Diagnostic testing with pH and impedance monitoring are commonly reserved for patients with partial or poor response to the initial treatment with PPI’s. Poor response to PPI therapy may be an important indicator for non-gastroesophageal reflux causes for patients’ symptoms and should initiate a search for other potential causes.


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