Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a different entity from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with LPR usually present with a variety of symptoms such as hoarseness, voice fatigue, burning sensation in the throat, persistent cough, sore throat, dysphagia, a sensation of a lump in the throat, and chronic throat clearing. The management of LPR is based on medications (proton pump inhibitors) along with lifestyle and dietary modifications. It has been suggested that the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and Reflux Finding Score (RFS) are useful parameters to assess patients with LPR.
The aim of this study is to assess the subjective and objective benefits of RFS and RSI for diagnosing and management of LPR in the tertiary care center and to find the difference in RSI and RSI scoring with respect to gender.
A prospective study was performed and 102 patients were included according to inclusion criteria. RFS and RSI questionnaires were filled on the first visit of patients and then treatment with proton pump inhibitors was started along with lifestyle modification instructions. Questionnaires were filled after four weeks and then 12weeks post-treatment. Repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare the mean RFS and RSI from baseline to the end of treatment. The post hoc analysis was done using the Bonferroni test of multiple comparisons. An independent sample t-test was also used to compare the mean RFS and RSI between genders. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant
RFS and RSI were found to be significantly decreased post-treatment after four weeks and 12 weeks post-treatment (p-value- <0.01). Eight point eight percent (8.8%) side effects were observed in the study, the change in quality of life after a three-month treatment was significantly improved among 62.7% patients, and 75.5% did lifestyle modifications. In the mean comparison of RFS and RSI with respect to gender, it was observed that the mean RFS of females samples after one month and three months of treatment were significantly less as compared to male samples, p<0.01. There was no significant mean difference observed for RSI after one month and three months of treatment with respect to gender (p>0.05).
RFS and RSI are convenient and helpful for diagnosing LPR, and they can be easily implemented in ear, nose, throat (ENT) clinics for the subjective and objective assessment of LPR. Females showed greater improvement on laryngoscopy findings (RFS scores) post-treatment as compared to males.