Arytenoid vertical height discrepancy in predicting outcomes after unilateral vocal cord medialization.Laryngoscope. 2020 02; 130(2):418-422.L
Unilateral vocal fold paralysis is a structural abnormality that often occurs secondary to dysfunction of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and typically presents as a breathy voice. Medialization laryngoplasty is a constellation of procedures that improves apposition of the vocal cords. Many patients, however, fail to experience sufficient improvement in vocal quality postoperatively despite apparent glottic closure on stroboscopy. This suggests that asymmetry in other cord characteristics may also have acoustic consequences. Our hypothesis is that arytenoid height symmetry may play a significant role in vocal quality. To our knowledge there are no human observational studies examining this topic. We therefore aimed to correlate asymmetry in arytenoid height and patient-reported satisfaction in voice quality after thyroplasty.
Retrospective cohort analysis.
A retrospective review of prospectively collected data on consecutive patients who underwent medialization thyroplasty at a tertiary Sydney, Australia hospital was performed. Data collected included age, sex, onset of symptoms, as well as well as preoperative and 3-month postoperative maximum phonation time and Voice Handicap Index (VHI). Preoperative computed tomography scans were assessed for discrepancy of arytenoid vertical height discrepancy.
Twenty-three patients (56.5% female) with mean age of 52.4 ± 14.9 years were included. Most patients underwent injection thyroplasty (78.3%, n = 5), whereas the remaining underwent an open approach. A statistically significant inverse correlation was found between increasing height discrepancy and VHI improvement (r = -0.6, P = .003.) Revision surgery was associated with increased height discrepancy.
Findings of this study may affect future recommendations to address height discrepancy in surgery to treat unilateral vocal cord paralysis.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
3 Laryngoscope, 130:418-422, 2020.