[Logopedic rehabilitation of laryngeal granulomas].Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 1995 Oct; 15(5):375-82.AO
Posterior laryngeal granuloma is an infrequent pathology of multidisciplinary interest. Actually, its real prevalence is difficult to quantify because in some cases it is asymptomatic and in other instances it may either be reabsorbed or eliminated spontaneously. It is located at the vocal apophysis of the arytenoid or, less frequently, above it or on the laryngeal side of the arytenoid. The many etiologic factors (laryngeal intubation, gastro-esophageal refluxes, blunt trauma of the larynx, vocal dysfunction), sometimes concomitant and with the possible addition of enhancing circumstances (upper aerodigestive tract inflammation, naso-gastric tube, smoking and alcohol abuse), converge to a single pathogenetic mechanism: an ulceration of the mucosa and the pericondrium, sometimes complicated by an infection, which does not heal but instead produces a typical granulation tissue with capillaries oriented radially from the center of the lesion. Post intubation granulomas, extremely rare in children, are more frequent in females. It appears that there is no correlation with duration of intubation in that granulomas, can also occur after short general anesthesia. Idiopathic or contact granulomas are more frequent in the males. They are the result of vocal laryngeal hyperfunction, habitual throat clearing or cough-like throat clearing. Gastro-esophageal reflux of gastric juice, coughing or throat clearing may injure the mucosa. A blunt trauma of the larynx may cause a granuloma if the cartilage of the vocal process is exposed. Symptoms, when present, are dysphonia, tiredness during or after voicing, bolus, laryngeal unilateral pain, sensation of something in the throat which is mobile during breathing and swallowing, traces of blood in the expectoration. Therapeutic options are surgical, medical or logopedic. Surgery, although followed by frequent recurrences, is mandatory when the granuloma causes dispnea or if a pathologic essay is needed. Medical treatment aims at solving gastroesophageal reflux and/or inflammations of the district. Logopedic rehabilitation is the most successful therapy. Since January 1992 the Authors have been adopting the rehabilitation protocol planned by the French phoniatrician Brigitte Arnoux-Sindt for post-intubation granulomas, which, moreover, is utilyzed for all type of granulomas, including those arising during the early postoperative period after cordectomy. This protocol is analytically presented and discussed. In the cases of contact granulomas, and when there is concomitant vocal dysfunction, logopedic treatment is prolonged after granuloma dissapearance with some sessions aiming at restoring correct vocal behaviour. In all the ten patients rehabilitated up to now, granulomas disappeared after a mean of 16.3 sessions held twice a week. After several months of follow-up we had no recurrences. This clinical experience, while limited in number, seems to confirm the good results already reported in French Literature.