Indexed on: 25 Jun '09Published on: 25 Jun '09Published in: Diseases of the Esophagus
The quality of life in patients who have undergone surgery for esophageal cancer is frequently disturbed by postoperative gastroesophageal reflux disease or pharyngolaryngeal reflux disease. Recently, there have been many reports on gastroesophageal reflux disease after esophagectomy, and only a few on pharyngolaryngeal reflux disease. There is not yet any convenient endoscopic classification of reflux pharyngolaryngitis. We designed a new classification for reflux pharyngolaryngitis based on endoscopic findings. Our new classification consists of the five grades from 0 to IV based on (i) the extent and severity of erythema and/or edema in the pharynx and the larynx, and (ii) the extent and severity of granulation or scarring stenosis in the vocal cords. Ninety-three patients after cervical esophagogastrostomy after esophagectomy (the CEG group) and 28 patients after intrathoracic esophagogastrostomy (the TEG group) were reviewed in this study. We investigated the relation between the severity of reflux pharyngolaryngitis and clinical symptoms in these patients, and the correlation between this new classification of reflux pharyngolaryngitis and the Los Angeles classification of reflux esophagitis. Reflux esophagitis was more severe in the TEG group than in the CEG group, while there was no difference in the grading of reflux pharyngolaryngitis between the two groups. The pharyngolaryngeal symptoms and F-scale scores were not correlated with the severity of reflux pharyngolaryngitis in each group. The grading of reflux pharyngolaryngitis and that of reflux esophagitis was correlated in each group (P<0.001 in the CEG group and P=0.002 in the TEG group). We proposed a new endoscopic classification of reflux pharyngolaryngitis. The new classification of reflux pharyngolaryngitis correlated fairly well with the Los Angeles classification of reflux esophagitis, although this classification did not correlate with the clinical symptoms in patients who underwent esophagectomy. Follow-up attention including upper endoscopy should be paid to reflux pharyngolaryngitis in patients after esophagogastrostomy as well as reflux esophagitis, because there is often a lack in symptoms regardless of high incidence of pharyngolaryngitis.