Quantitative electromyographic characteristics of idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis.Laryngoscope. 2016 11; 126(11):E362-E368.L
Unilateral vocal fold paralysis with no preceding causes is diagnosed as idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis. However, comprehensive guidelines for evaluating the defining characteristics of idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis are still lacking. In the present study, we hypothesized that idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis may have different clinical and neurologic characteristics from unilateral vocal fold paralysis caused by surgical trauma.
Retrospective, case series study.
Patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis were evaluated using quantitative laryngeal electromyography, videolaryngostroboscopy, voice acoustic analysis, the Voice Outcome Survey, and the Short Form-36 Health Survey quality-of-life questionnaire. Patients with idiopathic and iatrogenic vocal fold paralysis were compared.
A total of 124 patients were recruited. Of those, 17 with no definite identified causes after evaluation and follow-up were assigned to the idiopathic group. The remaining 107 patients with surgery-induced vocal fold paralysis were assigned to the iatrogenic group. Patients in the idiopathic group had higher recruitment of the thyroarytenoid-lateral cricoarytenoid muscle complex and better quality of life compared with the iatrogenic group.
Idiopathic unilateral vocal fold paralysis has a distinct clinical presentation, with relatively minor denervation changes in the involved laryngeal muscles, and less impact on quality of life compared with iatrogenic vocal fold paralysis.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
4. Laryngoscope, 126:E362-E368, 2016.