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Karkos PD, Wilson JA. Laryngoscope. 2006;116(1):144-8.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to define the outcome of empiric treatment of suspected laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
RESULTS: Fourteen uncontrolled studies together with one unblinded, nonrandomized study with a control group of healthy volunteers and six double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trials were identified from 1994 to 2004. Selection bias, blinding of the results, and lack of common outcome measures were some of the problems preventing a formal metaanalysis. Although uncontrolled series reported positive results, randomized, controlled trials demonstrated no statistically significant differences for changes in severity or frequency of symptoms associated with suspected reflux between PPIs and placebo.
CONCLUSION: Recommendations for empiric treatment of suspected LPR with PPIs, by far the most common ear, nose and throat practice in the United Kingdom, are based on poor levels of evidence from uncontrolled studies. The few randomized, controlled trials have failed to demonstrate superiority of PPIs over placebo for treatment of suspected LPR.