Authors: Behlau M, Oliveira G, Pontes P
Title: Vocal Fold Self-Disruption After Phonotrauma On A Lead Actor: A Case Presentation
Source: Journal Of Voice 2009 23(6): 726-732
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

It is well known that phonotraumatic events may produce laryngeal inflammation, vocal fold hemorrhage and different types of mass lesions. This study describes a vocal fold self-disruption that occurred on stage to a lead actor in the role of Richard III. The study design is as case presentation. A 43-year-old actor presented with a sudden voice loss that first occurred on stage after a series of presentations. He also had a cold-like condition that had not been treated. His past medical history included an average of ten cigarettes per day for ten years and a 10-year history of gastritis and stomach ulcer. Perceptual, acoustic, and laryngeal analyses were performed following pharmacological and voice therapy. Perceptual and acoustic analyses showed mild deviations whereas laryngeal visual examination revealed a complete right vocal fold detachment from the anterior commissure to the vocal process, with generalized hyperemia. A mild diffuse Reinke's edema was observed on the left vocal fold. Mild discomfort was present only during the first day of the acute period. Modified vocal rest was recommended and a series of vocal exercises were administered. The patient performed again 4 days later, after following a series of behavioral modification techniques that included casting guidelines during the subsequent 15 days. Healing was exceptional and his voice returned to normal. This unique case with an exceptional recovery emphasizes the etiological aspects of scar formation after phonotrauma. Positive contributing factors may include a good vocal technique and adequate training as well as the protective upregulated genes present in Reinke's edema.

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