Combined arytenoid adduction and laryngeal reinnervation in the treatment of vocal fold paralysis.Laryngoscope. 1999 Dec; 109(12):1928-36.L
Glottal closure and symmetrical thyroarytenoid stiffness are two important functional characteristics of normal phonatory posture. In the treatment of unilateral vocal cord paralysis, vocal fold medialization improves closure, facilitating entrainment of both vocal folds for improved phonation, and reinnervation is purported to maintain vocal fold bulk and stiffness. A combination of medialization and reinnervation would be expected to further improve vocal quality over medialization alone.
A retrospective review of preoperative and postoperative voice analysis on all patients who underwent arytenoid adduction alone (adduction group) or combined arytenoid adduction and ansa cervicalis to recurrent laryngeal nerve anastomosis (combined group) between 1989 and 1995 for the treatment of unilateral vocal cord paralysis. Patients without postoperative voice analysis were invited back for its completion. A perceptual analysis was designed and completed.
Videostroboscopic measures of glottal closure, mucosal wave, and symmetry were rated. Aerodynamic parameters of laryngeal airflow and subglottic pressure were measured. A 2-second segment of sustained vowel was used for perceptual analysis by means of a panel of voice professionals and a rating system. Statistical calculations were performed at a significance level of P = .05.
There were 9 patients in the adduction group and 10 patients in the combined group. Closure and mucosal wave improved significantly in both groups. Airflow decreased in both groups, but the decrease reached statistical significance only in the adduction group. Subglottic pressure remained unchanged in both groups. Both groups had significant perceptual improvement of voice quality. In all tested parameters the extent of improvement was similar in both groups.
The role of laryngeal reinnervation in the treatment of unilateral vocal cord paralysis remains to be established.