Arytenoid appearance and vertical level difference between the paralyzed and innervated vocal cords.Laryngoscope. 2001 Feb; 111(2):227-32.L
In unilateral vocal fold paralysis, it has been generally accepted that the paralyzed vocal fold presents at a higher level than a normally innervated vocal fold. In this study, we correlate the appearances of the paralyzed arytenoid and the differences in level between the paralyzed and innervated vocal folds.
Retrospective review using video-recorded images of larynx.
A total of 38 patients were selected for this study who reported symptoms of voice change attributable to a paralyzed vocal fold unilaterally. Video recordings were obtained using the laryngeal telescope. The heights were assessed according to the paralyzed positions, status (inspiration or phonation), and appearances of the paralyzed arytenoid. The appearances of paralyzed arytenoid were further clarified as the portions of the medial surface of the arytenoid that were visualized.
In medial paralysis, the paralyzed vocal fold appeared mainly as being at an equal vertical level or as having no distinct difference from normal vocal fold during phonation. However, a few cases of medial paralysis showed a lower than normal or higher than normal vocal fold during phonation, depending on the appearance of the paralyzed arytenoid. In lateral paralysis, most of the paralyzed vocal folds were not higher than the innervated vocal folds during phonation.
The heights of paralyzed vocal folds were variable depending on the paralyzed positions, the status of the larynx, and appearances of the paralyzed arytenoid. The fact that the paralyzed vocal fold is at a higher level than the normal vocal fold should be reconsidered.