- Chronic (ongoing) cough
- Frequent throat clearing
- Constant mucus or phelgm in the throat
- Dry or sandpaper like sensation in the throat
- Pain or burning sensation in the throat
- Feeling of a lump in the throat (globus pharyngeus)
- Problems swallowing
- Bad/bitter taste in the mouth (especially in morning)
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Ear pain and/or persistent ear infections
- Post-nasal drip
- Large lingual tonsils
How does such a test work?
It basically looks for a stomach protein called pepsin.
Given reflux is when stomach contents moves up towards the mouth and pepsin is a protein ONLY produced in the stomach... pepsin should NOT be found in the throat/mouth.
As such, the test can state "yes" or "no" whether LPR is present or not. Keep in mind that this test does NOT inform what type of reflux is present whether acid reflux or non-acid reflux, nor does it reliably inform how severe the reflux is. Only the 24 hour ph/impedance testing can provide such information.
How good is the test?
Depending on the study, sensitivity ranges in the 80-100% (can actually detect reflux if truly present) and specificity is around 85% (truly no reflux if test is negative).
One test company is rdbiomed using their Peptest kit.
Unfortunately, such testing is not offered in most labs except in Europe. (This test is currently not FDA approved and as such, is not even available for purchase yet in the United States. However, FDA approval is expected in 2014.)
However, we do offer this test in our office for current patients of ours. Click here for more info.
However, you can order this test yourself as an individual. It is recommended you take the standard 3 sample peptest. Click here for more information.
Sensitive pepsin immunoassay for detection of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Laryngoscope. 2005 Aug;115(8):1473-8.
Rapid salivary pepsin test: Blinded assessment of test performance in gastroesophageal reflux disease. Laryngoscope. 2012 Jun;122(6):1312-6. doi: 10.1002/lary.23252. Epub 2012 Mar 23.
Is Pepsin a Reliable Marker of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux? A Systematic Review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Sep;157(3):385-391. doi: 10.1177/0194599817709430. Epub 2017 Jun 6.