Patients with globus hystericus (GH) feel as if there is a mass in the throat even though it does not exist.
Worrisome features that are indicative of serious disorders include onset after the age of 50 years, concomitant weight loss, pain, palpable neck mass, dysphagia, regurgitation, muscle weakness, and worsening of symptoms.
There are no notable findings in GH.
The clinical assessment consists of a full history with details about the symptoms, possible emotional triggers, review of systems, and presence of underlying illnesses. The clinician should identify red flag signs in order to rule out serious differential diagnoses.
Another major component of the workup is the physical exam, which should include palpation of the neck, inspection of the oropharynx, and evaluation of swallowing during eating and drinking. Also, a neurological exam is warranted.
While patients with typical features of GH do not require testing, clinicians may obtain various studies to clarify the diagnosis and exclude other causes. Institutions in the United Kingdom perform barium contrast swallows since they are rapid, safe, and effective  . Other modes of investigation such as rigid or flexible esophagoscopy and/or fiberoptic laryngoscopy may be performed to visualize the throat.
Some physicians use the validated Glasgow Edinburgh Throat Score (GETS) to monitor the progression of symptoms  .
This condition does not require treatment. However, some clinicians will empirically treat these patients with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) although GH's relation to GERD is debatable. If symptoms still persist, then clinicians may consider further testing with manometry or pH monitoring.
This benign condition is not associated with negative outcomes or complications.
The etiology of GH has not been clarified although there are possible causes such as severe emotional states, diffuse esophageal spasm, anatomical abnormalities, masses in the neck, or skeletal muscle disorders.
One study noted a prevalence of psychological disorders such as depression and somatization disorder in men with GH . Another investigation reported that significant life events can contribute to the onset or progression of GH .
One study evaluated patients who sought care in a general clinic and observed that the prevalence of GH was 6.7 per 100,000 encounters . This is a common condition  and is implicated in approximately 4% of otolaryngology referrals .
Since the etiology is unknown, the pathophysiology has not been elucidated. Emotional stressors, GERD, mechanical abnormalities, and other conditions have been suspected to play a role.
Preventative strategies include diet modification by reducing consumption of foods that cause GERD. For example, patients should avoid spicy and fatty foods.
Globus hystericus (GH) refers to the sensation of a lump or foreign object in the throat. This is usually diagnosed clinically through a detailed history, throat and neck exam although various institutions will also perform imaging studies. There is no specific treatment.
What is globus hystericus?
This is a condition in which the patient feels as if there is a lump in the throat. The exact causes are not known although some believe it is caused by emotional states, depression or anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or mechanical problems in the throat. Patients do not have pain, swallowing, or food sticking.
How is it diagnosed?
The physician will ask important questions about the symptoms, perform a neck and throat exam, and possibly order imaging tests to visualize the throat and airway.
How is it treated?
There is no specific treatment although some doctors will prescribe proton pump inhibitors in case the patient has GERD. Also, patients with psychiatric disorders may require treatment and referral to a psychiatrist.