Vocal Outcome After Arytenoid Adduction and Ansa Cervicalis Transfer

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the long-term efficacy of arytenoid adduction (AA) combined with ansa cervicalis–recurrent laryngeal nerve anastomosis (ACN-RLN) in the treatment of unilateral vocal fold paralysis.

Design

Retrospective review of clinical records.

Setting

Institutional practice.

Patients

Nine patients with severe paralytic dysphonia with large glottal gap were included. Voice outcome was followed up over 24 months postoperatively. One patient did not attend the 24-month evaluation.

Interventions

All patients underwent AA + ACN-RLN. The ansa cervicalis nerve to the sternohyoid muscle was used as the donor nerve.

Main Outcome Measures

Maximum phonation time (MPT), pitch range, harmonics-to-noise ratio (HNR), and perceptual voice quality were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 to 3 months, 6 to 8 months, 12 to 14 months, and 24 months.

Results

All parameters improved significantly after surgery and continued to improve over the 24-month period. The MPT continued to improve over time (P = .01, P = .006, and P = .001 when comparing the 1- to 3-month evaluation with the 6- to 8-month, 12- to 14-month, and 24-month evaluations, respectively). Also, pitch range and HNR showed significant, steady improvement over the 24-month duration of the study. Perceptual voice quality markedly improved at 24 months compared with the 1- to 3-month, 6- to 8-month, and 12- to 14-month follow-ups (P = .004, P = .005, and P = .02, respectively, for grade overall, and P = .004, P = .008, and P = .02, respectively, for breathiness grade).

Conclusions

Treatment with AA + ACN-RLN provides near-normal vocal function in the 24-month follow-up. Therefore, this method could be a successful surgical treatment for severe paralytic dysphonia.

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