Posterior cordectomy and subtotal arytenoidectomy for the treatment of bilateral vocal fold immobility: Functional results

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      Summary

      We report vocal and respiratory results following endoscopic CO2 laser therapy for bilateral vocal fold immobility in adduction. Two techniques were used: posterior cordectomy (PC) and subtotal arytenoidectomy (SA). Respiratory improvement was demonstrated by the peak expiratory flow/peak inspiratory flow ratio (PEF/PIF, normal = 1), which was less than 2 for 83% of patients following PC and for 81% following SA. As for vocal results, there were no significant quantitative differences between the two techniques. Mean maximum phonation time (/a/) was 6.8 ± 2.6 s after SA and 7.8 ± 1.6 s following PC. The phonation quotient was 288 ± 116 ml/s after SA and 304 ± 92 ml/s after PC. Mean vocal intensity was 62 ± 4 dB after SA and 59 ± 3 dB after PC. Vocal quality was measured by high-resolution vocal frequency analysis, as represented by a histogram. Peaks corresponding to fundamental frequency and first harmonics were preserved in more than 60% of patients in the two groups. Vocal preservation is better when the paralyzed folds are in the paramedian position, with the possibility of adduction (Gerhardt syndrome). SA is performed in our procedure, though it is longer and more difficult to perform than PC. PC often requires two procedures to achieve satisfactory results.
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