High-speed imaging used to detect vocal fold paresis: A case report

Melissa Mortensen, Peak Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


High-speed imaging has been used to study vocal fold vibration and has been shown to provide additional information in aid of our understanding of pathologic vocal fold vibration. This is the first case report of vocal fold paresis diagnosed by high-speed imaging. An 18-year-old girl presented with intermittent voice loss that had been present for 4 years. The patient had been seen by other otolaryngologists and had been given proton pump inhibitors without any improvement in her voice. Her voice was diplophonic. The patient was examined by rigid stroboscopy and was found to have a predominantly open phase pattern but a normal vibratory pattern. High-speed photography showed a distinct vibratory frequency for each vocal fold, suggestive of a paresis pattern. Laryngeal electromyography confirmed the diagnosis of vocal fold paresis. A computed tomographic scan of the larynx and chest showed a thymoma. After thymectomy, the patient recovered full voice function. High-speed imaging is useful for the clinical evaluation of pathologic vocal fold vibration and can detect subtle features of paralysis that may not be detected on fiberoptic endoscopy and rigid stroboscopy. The additional information from high-speed imaging helped to make the diagnosis of vocal fold paresis in this patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-687
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • High-speed imaging
  • Vocal fold paresis


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