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Keywords:

  • Unilateral vocal fold paralysis;
  • injection laryngoplasty;
  • outcomes;
  • recurrent laryngeal nerve injury;
  • Level of Evidence: 4

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

Injection laryngoplasty (IL) is a temporary intervention for unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). IL is often performed in patients with a potentially recoverable recurrent laryngeal nerve insult while awaiting spontaneous recovery, compensation, or definitive intervention. This study investigates the long-term outcomes of subjects treated with an IL.

Study Design:

Restrospective chart review.

Methods:

A single-institution, retrospective review was performed from January 2004 to July 2008; subjects with potentially recoverable UVFP who underwent an IL were included.

Results:

The following etiologies were noted for the 42 subjects included: idiopathic in 13 (31%), iatrogenic in 25 (60%), infectious in two (5%), traumatic in one (2%), and stroke in one (2%). Ten subjects (24%) had full recovery of their paralysis, four (10%) partially recovered movement with adequate recovery of voice, 16 (40%) had no recovery of motion but compensation with adequate recovery of voice, 12 (29%) required further definitive intervention in the form of laryngeal framework surgery. Voice-related quality of life scores improved for all patients surveyed after IL and improved more for those who ultimately recovered or compensated.

Conclusions:

The majority of subjects with potentially recoverable UVFP recover vocal fold motion and/or adequate voice after IL without permanent intervention. Laryngoscope, 2010