Configuration of the Glottis in Laryngeal Paralysis: II: Animal Experiments

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Abstract

It is widely believed that in isolated recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, the paralyzed vocal fold assumes a median or paramedian position, due to the action of the cricothyroid muscle. A review of the literature reveals that support for this theory is not conclusive and, in particular, experiments indicate that the cricothyroid muscle does not appreciably affect vocal fold position in acute paralysis. The research in this study compares the configuration of the glottis in chronic unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis in cats, with and without concomitant denervation of the cricothyroid muscle. Results indicate that vocal fold position is not determined by the cricothyroid muscle. Incomplete denervation of intrinsic laryngeal muscles as well as synkinetic reinnervation appear to be significant factors in determining vocal fold position in chronic laryngeal paralysis.

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