Vocal fold injection augmentation (VFIA) is employed diagnostically for patients with subtle glottic insufficiency. Its use in patients with both vocal fold atrophy and benign essential voice tremor (EVT) has been reported but not after durable augmentation. This study intends to evaluate the success of durable VFIA using either autologous fat or calcium hydroxylapatite in patients with both vocal fold atrophy and comorbid EVT.
Retrospective review. Subjects included demonstrated subtle glottic insufficiency from true vocal fold atrophy and comorbid EVT with no other vocal fold pathology. Voice Handicap Index (VHI-10), aerodynamic data including subglottic pressure and airflow, and the tremor scoring scale were evaluated before diagnostic VFIA with carboxymethylcellulose and after durable VFIA with calcium hydroxylapatite or autologous fat.
Seven patients met inclusion criteria. Six subjects went on to durable VFIA. Three of six demonstrated meaningful improvement in the VHI-10 score. Subglottic pressure improved significantly in those subjects with meaningful VHI-10 improvement compared to those that did not. The tremor did not resolve completely in any subject, but patient satisfaction and function was improved in four of the six.
VFIA for EVT in the setting of true vocal fold atrophy appears to offer benefit and may be an alternative treatment pathway for EVT patients. More than half of the subjects who underwent durable VFIA after successful diagnostic VFIA reported improvement in their communication despite inconsistent objective outcomes. Subglottic pressure improved significantly in half of the subjects who also reported a substantive improvement in their VHI-10.
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Published online: November 29, 2018
Accepted: November 5, 2018
Conflicts of Interest: None.
© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.