Can the Reflux Finding Score and Reflux Symptom Index Be Used to Evaluate the Severity of Esophagitis in Children?J Voice 2019JV
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a growing issue in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and pediatric medicine, is the backflow of stomach contents into the laryngopharynx. Patients present with frequent upper and/or lower respiratory tract infections and coughs, associated with acid- and pepsin-mediated injury to the mucosae of the larynx and pharynx. LPR is associated with rhinosinusitis, laryngitis, pneumonia, and asthma. Children with LPR often fail to exhibit classic gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, or such symptoms may be intermittent. Only a few studies have sought correlations among symptoms, endoscopic findings, and the results of frequently used diagnostic tests.
THE AIM OF OUR STUDY
We sought associations among the Reflux Finding Score (RFS), Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), and the pathological extent of esophagitis.
We reviewed data on children who underwent upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy and showed LPR symptoms, as reported by the ENT department. The RSI was scored by pediatric gastroenterologists and the RFS by ENT doctors, via laryngoscopic examination. The pathological esophageal data were evaluated retrospectively.
We treated 52 patients (29 boys) with a mean age of 11.4 ± 4.5 years. On pathological evaluation, one patient exhibited normal esophageal findings, while 28 showed mild esophagitis, 16 esophagitis, and 8 severe esophagitis. Thirteen patients showed esophageal pseudopolypoid lesions secondary to gastroesophageal reflux disease on endoscopic examination, but were human papilloma virus-negative. There was no correlation among the RFS, RSI score, and age, but there was a significant correlation between the pathological data and the RFS (P = 0.010; r = 0.461).
The incidence of LPR/esophagitis in children may differ from that in adults. Therefore, ENT specialists should determine esophagitis status in children and, if necessary, consult pediatric gastroenterologists.