Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 189–195 | Cite as

What Is the Available Evidence for the Treatment of Globus Pharyngeus?

  • J. Heyman
  • D. Owens
LARYNGOLOGY: Dysphagia (A Al-Hussaini, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on LARYNGOLOGY: Dysphagia


Purpose of Review

Globus pharyngeus is a persistent or intermittent, painless sensation of a foreign body in the throat that represents around 4% of ENT referrals from primary care. The aetiology of this condition is poorly understood and therefore there is no current universally accepted investigation pathway or treatment approach. This review aimed to provide a summary of the established evidence for the treatment of globus pharyngeus. The review used an eight-step, rapid review methodology to create an evidence summary.

Recent Findings

Recent case-control studies have demonstrated positive results in the treatment of globus using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and amitriptyline. Positive findings were also seen with the use of proton pump inhibitors, cognitive behavioural therapy and speech and language therapy.


Despite positive conclusions, strength of evidence is limited by lack of control groups in most studies, short follow-up periods and small study populations. Therefore, there is much room for further research studies and subsequent meta-analysis to move towards an evidence-based treatment algorithm. The authors suggest a case by case approach to the management given the evidence but recommend consideration of speech and language therapy review and potentially cognitive behavioural therapy in intractable cases.


Globus pharyngeus Treatment response Speech and language therapy Cognitive behavioural therapy Proton pump inhibitor Antidepressant 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyQueen Alexandra HospitalPortsmouthUK
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity Hospital of WalesCardiffUK

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