History of Otolaryngology: Globus Pharyngeus as “Globus Hystericus”

Jerome R. Lechien, Robin Baudouin, Stéphane Hans, Lee M. Akst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globus pharyngeus is the uncomfortable sensation of a “lump in the throat,” and at present it has many recognized pathophysiologic causes. However, until relatively recently, this condition was often labeled “globus hystericus” and was thought to be a manifestation of hysteria or anxiety. In this commentary, we briefly review the history surrounding the initial treatment of globus pharyngeus sensation as a hysterical condition rooted in anxiety/psychological causes; then, we briefly review the emerging evidence that roots globus pharyngeus sensation within a constellation of pathophysiologies that are related to pharyngoesophageal inflammation and irritation rather than psychological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-892
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • globus
  • head neck surgery
  • history
  • hystericus
  • laryngeal
  • laryngopharyngeal
  • larynx
  • lump
  • otolaryngology
  • reflux
  • throat
  • voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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