Validated Clinical Score to Predict Gastroesophageal Reflux in Patients with Chronic Laryngeal Symptoms: COuGH RefluX.

Krause AJ, Kaizer AM, Carlson DA, et al. Validated Clinical Score to Predict Gastroesophageal Reflux in Patients with Chronic Laryngeal Symptoms: COuGH RefluX. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Published online 2024.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Discerning whether laryngeal symptoms result from gastroesophageal reflux is clinically challenging and a reliable tool to stratify patients is needed. We aimed to develop and validate a model to predict likelihood of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) among patients with chronic laryngeal symptoms.

METHODS: This multicenter international study collected data from adults with chronic laryngeal symptoms that underwent objective testing (upper GI endoscopy and/or ambulatory reflux monitoring) between 3/2018-5/2023. The training phase identified a model with optimal receiver operating characteristic curves, and beta coefficients informed a weighted model. The validation phase assessed performance characteristics of the weighted model.

RESULTS: 856 adults, 304 in training cohort and 552 in the validation cohort, were included. In the training phase the optimal predictive model [AUC 0.68 (95% CI 0.62, 0.74)] - the COuGH RefluX score - consisted of Cough, Overweight/obesity, Globus, Hiatal Hernia, Regurgitation, and male seX with a lower threshold of 2.5 and upper threshold of 5.0 to predict proven GERD. In the validation phase, the COuGH RefluX score had an AUC of 0.67 (0.62, 0.71) with 79% sensitivity and 81% specificity for proven GERD.

CONCLUSIONS: The externally validated COuGH RefluX score is a clinically practical model to predict likelihood of proven GERD. The score classifies most patients with chronic laryngeal symptoms as low/high likelihood of proven GERD, with only 38% remaining as indeterminate. Thus, the COuGH RefluX score can guide diagnostic strategies and reduce inappropriate proton pump inhibitor use or testing for patients referred for evaluation of chronic laryngeal symptoms.

Last updated on 02/04/2024
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