Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Before and After Cricopharyngeal Myotomy


Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.

Trial status:

Open for Enrollment

Why is this study being done?

Gastroesophageal reflux is considered to be a common cause of cricopharyngeal dysfunction and Zenker's diverticulum. In patients with severe symptoms of dysphagia, we perform a cricopharyngeal myotomy to release the tension at the upper esophageal sphincter. There has been some speculation that if the upper esophageal sphincter is severed, there could be an increase in reflux into the pharyngeal and laryngeal structures. The current gold standard for measuring laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is 24 hour monitoring with a dual-electrode pH catheter. A newer device specifically measures LPR by sitting in the nasopharynx. The probe has been verified as accurate by several studies, with some postulating that since its recording intervals are closer together, it may be more accurate for measuring LPR. We aim to measure LPR with the new pH probe in patients with gastroesophageal reflux before and after cricopharyngeal myotomy to see if LPR becomes present or worsens after surgery. All patients presenting with cricopharyngeal dysfunction or Zenker's diverticulum with a diagnosis or symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux will be asked to participate in the study. If they meet the inclusion criteria, agree to participate, and wish to undergo surgery for their dysphagia, a baseline 24 hr laryngopharyngeal reflux study will be obtained using the Restech probe. Additionally, baseline dysphagia and reflux questionnaires will be obtained and an exam with flexible nasopharyngoscopy will be done. This exam is considered part of a standard exam for this condition and would be performed even if patients were not part of the research study. The surgical procedure will treat their dysphagia no differently than if they were not participating in the study. The patient will have their standard postoperative visit at 4 weeks, where their reflux and dysphagia symptoms will be assessed with questionnaires and a reflux finding score will be calculated via nasopharyngoscopy. At 3 months, an additional 24 laryngopharyngeal reflux study will be conducted with the Restech probe, and the patient will be seen in clinic for their final postoperative visit shortly thereafter. The questionnaires and the flexible nasopharyngoscopy for a reflux finding score will be repeated. The nasopharyngoscopy exam is standard of care for this patient visit. The patient would undergo the same number of nasopharyngoscopies even if they were not part of the study. During the study, if the patient is already on medication for reflux, they will be taken off their medication for 7 days in order to better detect changes in their LPR before and after cricopharyngeal myotomy. This is the standard protocol for patients being tested for LPR by the 24 hr pH probe study with the Restech probe. The patients will serve as their own controls as we are looking for significant increases in the amount of laryngopharyngeal reflux after cricopharyngeal myotomy. The data will be maintained in a database until the end of the study.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux - presence of Zenker's diverticulum or cricopharyngeal hypertrophy - undergoing surgery for Zenker's diverticulum or cricopharyngeal hypertrophy with endoscopic laser cricopharyngeal myotomy - at least 18 years old Exclusion Criteria: - pregnant women - children - prisoners - adults lacking capacity to consent

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