Botulinum Toxin Management of Spasmodic Dysphonia (Laryngeal Dystonia): A 12-Year Experience in More Than 900 Patients

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Objectives:This paper reviews a 12-year experience in more than 900 patients with spasmodic dysphonia who have been treated with botulinum toxin.Study Design:This is a retrospective analysis of patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (strain-strangled voice), abductor spasmodic dysphonia (whispering voice), and adductor breathing dystonia (paradoxical vocal fold motion), all of whom have been treated with botulinum toxin injections for relief of symptom.Methods:All of the patients were studied with a complete head and neck and neurologic examination; fiberoptic laryngostroboscopy; acoustic and aerodynamic measures; and a speech evaluation including the Universal spasmodic dysphonia rating scale. Some were given electromyography. All patients received botulinum toxin injections into the affected muscles under electromyographic guidance.Results:The adductor patients had an average benefit of 90% of normal function lasting an average of 15.1 weeks. The abductor patients had an average benefit of 66.7% of normal function lasting an average of 10.5 weeks. Adverse effects included mild breathiness and coughing on fluids in the adductor patients, and mild stridor in a few of the abductor patients.Conclusion:Botulinum toxin A injection of the laryngeal hyperfunctional muscles has been found over the past 12 years to be the treatment of choice to control the dystonic symptoms in most patients with spasmodic dysphonia.

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