Magnetic Control of the Glottic Opening in an Ex Vivo Sheep Larynx Model: A Preliminary Study

      Summary

      Objective/Hypothesis

      So far, a number of techniques have been described for the treatment of bilateral vocal fold paralysis. These techniques were reported to be successful in maintaining an adequate airway but also found to be associated with an increased risk of aspiration, dysphonia, and granulation tissue formation at the operation site. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a novel mucosa-sparing technique based on the generation of a magnetic field within the larynx for the tailored lateralization of the ipsilateral vocal fold.

      Study design

      This is an ex vivo experimental study.

      Methods

      Twenty sheep larynges that were procured from the local slaughterhouse were used as a model. For each specimen, two neodymium (Nd) disc magnets with marked poles were used to create a unilateral attractive magnetic force at the glottic level. Following insertion of the magnets, the level of vocal fold lateralization was assessed under an operating microscope. The results were analyzed for their statistical significance.

      Results

      Before the procedure, the mean value of the glottic openings of all the specimens was 4.985 mm. The postprocedure mean value was 5.640 mm. The mean amount of increase in the glottic openings after the procedure was 0.655 mm. This change was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05).

      Conclusions

      A statistically significant increase in the cross-sectional area of the glottic region could be achieved. The mucosal integrity of the laryngeal airway was also preserved. The idea of “magnetic control of the glottic airway” is a novel concept but seems to be a promising option.

      Keywords

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