• Pseudocyst;
  • voice disorder;
  • dysphonia;
  • polyp;
  • phonotrauma;
  • vocal fold;
  • vocal fold lesion;
  • vocal fold paresis;
  • vocal fold pseudocyst


To describe treatment results and identify predictors of the need for surgical intervention in patients with vocal fold pseudocyst.

Study Design

Retrospective cohort study with longitudinal followup via survey.


Clinical records were reviewed for demographic information, VHI-10 score, and degree of severity of dysphonia. Videostroboscopic examinations were evaluated for presence of vocal fold pseudocyst, along with additional clinical variables, including laterality, reactive lesion, paresis, varix, and hemorrhage. Follow-up surveys were sent to all participants to evaluate current VHI-10 score and degree of vocal limitation. Results were analyzed to determine predictors of surgery and recurrence of pathology.


Forty-six patients (41F:5M) with pseudocyst (40 unilateral: 6 bilateral) were reviewed. Twenty-three (50%) had reactive lesions, nineteen (41%) had paresis by clinical criteria, 10 (22%) had varices, and 6 (13%) had hemorrhage on examination. All underwent initial behavioral management (2–12 sessions of voice therapy; mean of 8 sessions). Seventeen (37%) eventually required surgical intervention. No demographic or clinical variables proved predictive of surgical intervention. Follow-up surveys were completed by 63% of patients, and 79% agreed with the statement that they were not professionally limited by their voices.


This experience supports behavioral management as an initial intervention in patients with pseudocyst, sufficient by itself to restore vocal function in approximately two out of three patients. Neither initial severity nor any of the studied clinical findings predicted the need for surgery. The large majority of patients with pseudocyst are able to be treated effectively without impact in their professional function.

Level of Evidence

4 Laryngoscope, 124:1180–1186, 2014