Predictive value of laryngeal electromyography in patients with vocal cord paralysis of neurogenic origin


  • Presented at the Meeting of the Eastern Section of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc., Syracuse, NY, January 25, 1985.

  • From the Division of Otolaryngology (S.M.P.), and the Department of Neurology (S.S-M.), Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.


Laryngeal electromyography can provide prognostic information when evaluating patients with vocal cord dysfunction. Twentyfour patients were studied to determine the predictive capacity of this test. Six patients had bilateral vocal cord paralysis, constituting a total of 30 vocal cords examined.

Sixteen of these cords had decreased or absent motor unit potentials, fibrillations, or positive waves. None of these patients recovered function. Fourteen cords demonstrated either normal motor unit or polyphasic potentials. Return of mobility was evident in 11 of these cords. The combined total was 27 of 30 cords correctly predicted, demonstrating a 90% accuracy rate.