Author(s): Chen HC, Jen YM, Wang CH, Lee JC, Lin YS
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Vocal cord paralysis (VCP) is a sign of a certain underlying disease, a diagnosis which can be attributed to various causes. This study intends to analyze the contemporary etiology of VCP in a tertiary medical center. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records from June 2000 to December 2004 of hospitalized patients with VCP was done to determine the etiology. RESULTS: Two hundred and ninety-one patients with a determined etiology were identified, consisting of 176 males and 115 females. Unilateral VCP was present in 259 patients, while 32 presented with bilateral VCP. The causes were surgical in 40.2\%, neoplastic in 29.9\%, idiopathic in 10.7\%, traumatic in 8\%, central in 3.8\%, radiation-induced in 3.4\%, inflammatory in 2\%, cardiovascular in 1.7\% and other causes in 0.3\% of the cases. Thyroidectomy represented the most common surgery for VCP and was the cause in 57 patients. Lung cancer was responsible for 34 cases and was the most common neoplastic etiology. In males, neoplasm was the most common cause occurring in 63 of 176 males, whereas surgery was most frequent in 59 of 115 females. CONCLUSION: Surgical trauma, mainly thyroidectomy, is the most common cause of VCP in hospitalized patients. The possibility of a neoplasm must be ruled out before VCP is labeled idiopathic. A benign thyroid tumor could also cause VCP. Besides, radiation-induced cranial nerve paralysis in head and neck cancer may play a significant role. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.
This article was published in ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research