Laryngeal dystonia gravidarum: Sudden onset of adductor spasmodic dysphonia in pregnancy


  • Presented at American Laryngological Association 2013 Spring Meeting at Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., April 10–11, 2013.

  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



The purpose of this study was to identify the presence or absence of known factors related to onset of adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) in a population with sudden onset during or after pregnancy.

Study Design

Retrospective review.


A review of 350 patient records identified five patients with sudden onset of ADSD related to pregnancy. An age-matched group with sudden onset of ADSD not related to pregnancy served as controls. All subjects completed a 20-question survey of risk factors relevant to ADSD.


The average age of onset in both groups was 31 years. Three had onset of ADSD in the postpartum period, the other two during pregnancy. Significantly increased avocational voice use was found in the pregnant group compared to the control group. There was a significant difference in the two groups regarding cumulative risk factors traditionally associated with ADSD.


Sudden onset of ADSD can occur in pregnancy in women with clinical profiles that differ from traditional ADSD patients.

Level of Evidence

3b Laryngoscope, 123:3127–3130, 2013