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Upper Esophageal Sphincter Compression Device as an Adjunct to Proton Pump Inhibition for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux



The Reflux Band, an external upper esophageal sphincter (UES) compression device, reduces esophago-pharyngeal reflux events. This study aimed to assess device efficacy as an adjunct to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).


This two-phase prospective clinical trial enrolled adults with at least 8 weeks of laryngeal symptoms (sore throat, throat clearing, dysphonia) not using PPI therapy at two tertiary care centers over 26 months. Participants used double dose PPI for 4 weeks in Phase 1 and the external UES compression device nightly along with PPI for 4 weeks in Phase 2. Questionnaire scores and salivary pepsin concentration were measured throughout the study. The primary endpoint of symptom response was defined as reflux symptom index (RSI) score ≤ 13 and/or > 50% reduction in RSI.


Thirty-one participants completed the study: 52% male, mean age 47.9 years (SD 14.0), and mean body mass index (BMI) 26.2 kg/m2 (5.1). Primary endpoint was met in 11 (35%) participants after Phase 1 (PPI alone) and 17 (55%) after Phase 2 (Device + PPI). Compared to baseline, mean RSI score (24.1 (10.9)) decreased at end of Phase 1 (PPI alone) (21.9 (9.7); p = 0.06) and significantly decreased at end of Phase 2 (Device + PPI) (15.5 (10.3); p < 0.01). Compared to non-responders, responders to Device + PPI had a significantly lower BMI (p = 0.02) and higher salivary pepsin concentration (p = 0.01).


This clinical trial highlights the potential efficacy of the external UES compression device (Reflux Band) as an adjunct to PPI for patients with LPR (ClinicalTrials.Gov NCT03619811).

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