Long-term outcomes in unilateral vocal fold paralysis patients

Conor W. McLaughlin, Brian Swendseid, Mark S. Courey, Sarah Schneider, Jackie L. Gartner-Schmidt, Katherine C. Yung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: At presentation, unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) patients have different treatment options, including conservative management (CM), injection laryngoplasty (IL) with a temporary agent, or permanent medialization (PM). This study evaluates long-term outcomes for UVFP patients relative to intervention. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of UVFP patients who presented to the University of California San Francisco Voice and Swallowing Center. Videolaryngostroboscopy examinations were reviewed. Maximum glottic closure was quantified with the normalized glottic gap area (NGGA). Perceptual voice analysis was performed using the Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (CAPE-V) at corresponding time points. Results: Fifty-three patients met inclusion criteria. Six underwent CM only, 20 went on to require PM, 19 underwent IL only, and eight underwent IL and subsequent PM. NGGA at presentation was similar among groups; however, the CM group was noted to have more favorable CAPE-V scores for Breathiness (P =.007) and Loudness (P =.018). All groups had similar NGGA and CAPE-V scores at last follow-up. When compared to pooled data for patients who underwent PM, the IL group was noted to have similar NGGA and CAPE-V scores at presentation. Although improvements in both groups were noted following intervention, both groups appeared similar at last follow-up with the exception of Roughness, for which the IL group retained a slightly improved outcome (13.3 vs. 18.3, P =.03). Conclusions: At presentation, UVFP patients have similar NGGA. This finding suggests that treatment recommendations cannot be made on the size of the glottic gap alone. Furthermore, in many patients, IL results in long-term benefit with glottic closure and CAPE-V scores equivalent to that obtained with PM. Level of Evidence: 4. Laryngoscope, 128:430–436, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-436
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Vocal fold paralysis
  • injection laryngoplasty
  • type I thyroplasty


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term outcomes in unilateral vocal fold paralysis patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this