A new noninvasive method for determination of laryngeal sensory function§

Authors

  • Jonathan M. Bock MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
    • Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, U.S.A
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  • Joel H. Blumin MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
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  • Robert J. Toohill MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
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  • Albert L. Merati MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A
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  • Thomas E. Prieto PhD,

    1. Department of Neurology Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
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  • Safwan S. Jaradeh MD

    1. Department of Neurology Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A
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  • The authors have no financial disclosures for this article.

  • The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

  • §

    Presented at the 131st annual meeting of the American Laryngological Association, Las Vegas, NV, April 28, 2010.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

We report a new surface technique for studying sensory conduction in the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN).

Study Design:

Prospective controlled cohort study at an academic tertiary care hospital.

Methods:

Surface stimulation of the vagus nerve 7–10 cm proximal to a surface electrode placed over the cricothyroid muscle was performed in controls and in subjects with needle electromyographic-confirmed laryngeal neuropathy. Cathodal stimulation was applied below the mastoid process behind the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Nerve conduction parameters were determined.

Results:

Noninvasive SLN evoked potential studies were performed on healthy volunteers (n = 28) as well as neuropathic subjects (n = 27). Compared to controls, the neuropathic subjects had statistically significant differences in baseline-to-peak amplitude, conduction velocity, and intrasubject side-to-side amplitude ratio (P <.01) of their surface evoked laryngeal sensory action potential (SELSAP).

Conclusions:

Laryngeal sensory nerve conduction can be determined noninvasively by evaluating SELSAP waveform. This study provides a reproducible method for electrophysiologic evaluation of a sensory branch of the SLN. Laryngoscope, 2011

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