2019 Volume 247 Issue 1 Pages 19-25
Patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) were reported to suffer from hypogeusia that affects quality of life. Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is a useful drug in the treatment of LPR, but its effect on hypogeusia is not known. We therefore assessed the effects of PPI or a histamine H2 receptor antagonist (H2 blocker) on hypogeusia among patients with LPR. Both PPI and H2 blocker could inhibit acid reflux. LPR was diagnosed with reflux finding score and reflux symptom index. The visual analogue scale (VAS) of taste disturbance symptoms and the gustatory tests were assessed before and 8 weeks after treatment with esomeprazole, a PPI (20 patients, aged 50.0 ± 1.7 years) or famotidine, a H2 blocker (20 patients, aged 47.1 ± 1.8 years). There were no significant differences in VAS scores and recognition thresholds for four basic tastes between the two groups before treatment. Only PPI therapy significantly decreased the VAS scores, suggesting the improvement of taste perception. Moreover, PPI therapy significantly decreased recognition thresholds for bitter taste in the anterior tongue (chorda tympani nerve area) and the thresholds in the posterior tongue (glossopharyngeal nerve area) for salty, sour, and bitter tastes. By contrast, H2-blocker therapy caused no significant changes of thresholds in the anterior tongue, but improved the threshold only for bitter in the posterior tongue, the value of which was however significantly higher than that in PPI group. In conclusion, PPI could ameliorate hypogeusia by improving bitter, salty, and sour tastes among patients with LPR.