Clinical review of globus patients with a focus on GERD cases

Kosuke Uno, Koichiro Saito, Haruna Yabe, Takeyuki Kono, Kaoru Ogawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Globus sensation is a common symptom seen daily in ear-nose-throat (ENT) clinics. Globus is affected by multiple factors, and of these, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), has been recognized as a relatively more manageable cause of globus than the other causes. However, we still commonly encounter globus patients with unclear backgrounds who require multiple diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. To provide an appropriate treatment approach and create favorable situations for these patients, we developed and applied an intramural algorithm to manage globus considering GERD, laryngeal allergy, and psychological problems as major factors of this pathology. Twenty-six patients with globus sensation who visited our voice clinic from June 2012 to March 2015 were enrolled in this study. All these patients had undergone general ENT examinations, including naso-pharyngo-laryngeal endoscopies and cervicothoracic computed tomographic scans. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed 2 cancers. Further study classified 23 patients into the GERD group and 1 patient into the allergy group. Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy was successful in 11 patients of the GERD group (response rate, 47.2%). Improvement in subjective symptoms of globus were measured by the scores of questionnaires, including the F scale and Reflux Symptom Index. Significant improvement in these scores were observed 1 month after PPI prescription in the PPI-responder group in this study. Further assessment of medical history as well as the scores of questionnaires to measure the severity levels of depression (Self-rating Depression Scale) and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Form JYZ, STAI) proved that relatively longer lasting symptoms (≥4 months) or relatively higher anxiety scores (STAIS50 points) were predictive of PPI resistance. Our study results suggested that the pathology of globus is affected by multiple factors and that a multidisciplinary team approach is required for better management of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1396
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology of Japan
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • GERD
  • Globus sensation
  • Laryngeal allergy
  • Psychological problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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