Predictors for Permanent Medialization Laryngoplasty in Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis

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Early differentiation of patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis (VFP) who recover from those who do not and consequently require permanent medialization laryngoplasty (ML) remains a challenge. The goal of this study is to identify factors that predict the need for ML.

Study Design

Case series with chart review.


Academic center.

Subjects and Methods

A total of 507 records of patients with VFP were analyzed, of which 252 met criteria and were stratified according to whether or not they obtained ML. Demographic information and clinical features were analyzed to determine predictors of ML. A nomogram was generated according to the significance and utility of these parameters.


Of 252 patients, 86 underwent ML, and 166 did not. No differences in age or sex were observed between the ML and non-ML patients (P = .27 and P = .35, respectively). The most common cause of VFP was iatrogenic injury (62.79%, ML; 49.40%, non-ML). ML correlated with VFP secondary to neoplastic disease (odds ratio [OR], 2.14; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.01-4.53) and iatrogenic injury (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.01-2.94). ML had an inverse correlation with idiopathic VFP (OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20-0.79). Patients in the ML group were more likely to have left-sided VFP, to have a history of aspiration, and to present ≥90 days from onset and less likely to have had temporary injection augmentation.


Clinical features may be used to predict the likelihood of a patient obtaining ML. Nomograms may be useful to counsel patients who would benefit from early definitive surgery.

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