Phenotypic Characterization of Laryngospasm: The Utility of Laryngeal Neurophysiological Studies



      To determine the existence of laryngeal neuropathy and the influence of gastroesophageal reflux in patients with episodic laryngospasm.

      Study Design

      Single -center, observational study with prospective clinical collection.

      Study Setting

      Prospective analysis of 18 Spanish patients with episodic laryngospasm in a Spanish Public Center collected by otolaryngologist. The recruitment dates were from January 2019 to December 2019.


      Data collection of 18 patients with episodic laryngospasm. Clinical characteristics, laryngeal neurophysiological studies and reflux esophageal testing were analyzed.


      All patients have a trigger for the laryngospasms, being the most prevalent adopting the supine position (27.7%). EMG and ENG were pathological in 83.3 and 63.6 % respectively. Chronic bilateral denervation (increased amplitude and duration of potentials) with signs of reinnervation in the non-active chronic phase (large polyphasia), was the most prevalent finding. Evidence of gastroesophageal reflux either by pH meter, Gastroscopy or both was found in 38.8 % of patients.


      Neurophysiological studies have confirmed the existence of laryngeal neuropathy in the majority of patients with laryngospasm. A substantial percentage of patients (38.8%) with laryngospasm had objective GERD and improved with PPIs. Laryngeal EMG and ENG can establish a more accurate diagnostic for episodic laryngospams and may supports treatment with neuromodulators.

      Key Words

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