Authors: Woodson G, Weiss T
Title: Arytenoid abduction for dynamic rehabilitation of bilateral laryngeal paralysis
Source: Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2007 116(7): 483-490
Year: 2007
Research Design: Single Case Design

OBJECTIVES: Bilateral laryngeal paralysis results in airway obstruction, but the voice is often nearly normal. Tracheotomy provides an airway and preserves voice. Surgical procedures to statically enlarge the glottis can permit decannulation, but do so at the expense of the voice. Motion analysis in cadaver larynges has demonstrated that adductor and abductor muscles rotate the arytenoid cartilage around different axes. We sought to determine whether external rotation of the arytenoid cartilage could enlarge the airway without abolishing residual phonatory adduction. METHODS: We performed arytenoid abduction in 6 patients with obstructing laryngeal paralysis. A suture was placed in the muscular process and posterior-inferior traction was applied, anchoring the suture to the inferior cornu of the thyroid cartilage. Outcomes were evaluated by assessing airway symptoms, by assessing the voice, and by documentation of laryngeal motion via videolaryngoscopy. RESULTS: Three patients with severe stridor had marked relief of symptoms, and 2 of the 3 tracheotomy-dependent patients were decannulated. Three patients had good voices, 2 had mild breathiness, and 1 was very breathy. CONCLUSIONS: Arytenoid abduction is a promising treatment for relieving airway obstruction in patients with laryngeal paralysis. It has the potential to preserve voice in patients with residual phonatory adduction.

Access: Paywall