4 years ago

Surgical Treatment of Extraesophageal Manifestations of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Alessandra L. Moore, P. Marco Fisichella, Elaine Alligood, Feroze Sidwa



To review the current literature on the role of antireflux surgery (ARS) for the treatment of extraesophageal manifestations of GERD.

Summary background data

The extraesophageal manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) include chronic cough, laryngopharyngeal reflux, and asthma. They are responsible for significant morbidity in affected patients and a high economic burden on healthcare resources. We recently published a larger review on the symptoms, diagnosis, medical, and surgical treatment of the extraesophageal manifestations of GERD. Through our investigation, we found that the role of ARS for respiratory symptoms was unclear. Hence, we resorted through the data of our previous meta-analysis to compile a comprehensive and focused review on the role of ARS for respiratory symptoms.


Using the archive of our previous meta-analysis, we selected studies extracted from the MEDLINE, Cochran, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Embase databases pertaining to the surgical treatment of extraesophageal manifestations of reflux (cough laryngopharyngeal reflux, and asthma). We applied a similar reporting methodology as was used in our previous manuscript and then hand searched the bibliographies of included studies yielding a total of 27 articles for review. We graded the level of evidence and classified recommendations by size of treatment effect per the American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines.


Observational data indicated that syndromes of chronic cough, laryngopharyngeal reflux and asthma might improve after antireflux surgery only in highly selected patients—likely those with non-acid reflux—while those patients with objective markers of asthma severity do not. Because of the varied methods of diagnosis and surgical technique, non-comparative observational data may be unreliable. Additionally, our search found no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing antireflux surgery to medical therapy in the treatment of cough or laryngopharyngeal reflux. One RCT compared medical treatment to antireflux surgery in patients with asthma, but medical treatment included high-dose H2 blockers instead of PPIs.


Extraesophageal manifestations of GERD are common, costly, and difficult to treat. ARS might be effective in highly selected patients, especially in those whose extraesophageal manifestations are caused by non-acid reflux. The available data to date are generally of poor quality or outdated. Well-designed randomized controlled trials or large-scale observational cohort studies are urgently needed.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00268-017-4058-8

DOI: 10.1007/s00268-017-4058-8

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