JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Gastroesophageal Reflux Characteristics and Patterns in Patients with Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis.

INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic subglottic stenosis represents a spectrum of subglottic disease without a clear underlying cause. Prior studies have implicated a pathogenic role of gastroesophageal reflux disease in idiopathic subglottic stenosis. The aim of this study was to examine the presence and pattern of gastroesophageal reflux in a large cohort of patients with idiopathic subglottic stenosis at a tertiary referral center.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of patients with idiopathic subglottic stenosis from January 2010 to December 2016 who had undergone combined pH impedance testing. Patients with prior gastric or esophageal surgery were excluded. Data obtained included esophageal acid exposure times, number of reflux events, patient position during reflux events (defined as upright, supine, or mixed), body mass index, and the presence of proton pump inhibitor therapy.

RESULTS: 159 patients with the idiopathic subglottic stenosis were identified, of whom 41 had undergone esophageal pH impedance testing. 40 (97.6%) were women, with a mean age of 54.8 (range 31-79) years and BMI of 31.0 (range 17-55). Overall, 19 (46.3%) patients were found to reflux as confirmed by abnormal esophageal acid exposure or abnormal number of reflux events. 15 of the 19 patients with reflux had predominantly upright gastroesophageal reflux disease, whereas 2 had supine and 2 mixed reflux.

DISCUSSION: In patients with idiopathic subglottic stenosis who underwent evaluation by combined pH impedance, close to half were found to have gastroesophageal reflux disease. The majority of gastroesophageal reflux occurred while the patients were in the upright position.

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