The Association Between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis: A Systematic Review

Michel R. M. San Giorgi, Herman M. Helder, Robbert-Jan S. Lindeman, Geertruida H. de Bock, Frederik G. Dikkers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives/Hypothesis: Antireflux therapy is incorporated in many treatment protocols for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) because gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is thought to worsen the disease course of RRP. It is unclear if GERD really aggravates the disease course. The aims of this systematic review were to 1) evaluate incidence of GERD among RRP patients and 2) report if GERD changes the clinical course or tissue properties of RRP.

Study Design: A search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar, following the methods of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

Methods: Articles with original data, published after January 1, 1990, on RRP with GERD as a determinant were eligible. There was no language restriction. Data on study design, study population, statistics, outcomes (incidence and influence of GERD), and risk of bias were collected and evaluated following PRISMA protocols.

Results: Of 1,277 articles, 19 were selected. Gastroesophageal reflux was objectified in 25% to 100% of RRP patients. Subjective GERD was present in 0% to 70% of patients. There is no proof that GERD aggravated the clinical course or tissue properties of RRP, as measured by the number of surgeries, severity scoring systems, or dysplasia. One study did find a higher chance of web formation in patients with anterior or posterior glottic papillomas who did not receive antireflux therapy, but these results should be interpreted with care due to the study's quality.

Conclusion: There is insufficient proof that GERD does or does not aggravate the clinical course or tissue properties of RRP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2330-2339
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2016


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • recurrent respiratory papillomatosis

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