A Study on Etiopathogenesis of Vocal Cord Paresis and Palsy in a Tertiary Centre


To identify patients of vocal cord paresis and palsy and to establish an etiological diagnosis based on a study performed in a tertiary centre. Study was done prospectively in the Department of ENT in KIMS Hospital, Bangalore, for 1 year, from June 2016 to June 2017. 100 patients with vocal cord paresis and palsy were identified and examined by using various tests and investigations to establish the etiology. Most of the patients presented with complaints of change in voice (92%). Some of the other common presenting complaints included noisy breathing and difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in voice production and vocal fatigue and cough. Unilateral paralysis (82%) was found to be more common than bilateral paralysis (18%), of which left (52%) was more commonly affected than right (48%) vocal cord. The most common age group affected was 51–60 years (24%) followed by 61–70 years (19%). Males (60%) were affected more than females (40%) in a ratio of 3:2 and among the affected males 73% were known smokers. The most common cause of vocal cord paresis and palsy was found to be idiopathic (38%), followed by primary laryngeal growths (27%). Other causes included carcinomas of lung, thyroid and oesophagus, traumatic, inflammatory, systemic diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, Hypertension leading to stroke. Identifying the exact etiopathogenesis of vocal cord paresis and palsy in patients has been difficult and is very important in order to establish a proper diagnostic and treatment protocol for these patients.

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We extend our gratitude to all the faculty members of the department and the management for giving their valuable opinion and suggestions during discussion of the case and also for extending their help towards working towards this article. We extend our gratefulness to all the partcipating patients and their family members for their cooperation and patience during the course of the study. Special mention to Dr. Jagannath, Dr. Smitha, Dr. Nirmala and all the postgraduates and interns for all their support in making this study a success.

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Correspondence to N. Lasya Raj.

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This article does not contain any studies which experiments with human participants or animals and all institutional and international ethical standards have been followed.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Anil, H.T., Lasya Raj, N. & Pillai, N. A Study on Etiopathogenesis of Vocal Cord Paresis and Palsy in a Tertiary Centre. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 71, 383–389 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12070-018-1502-5

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  • Vocal cord paresis
  • Palsy
  • Hoarseness
  • Recurrent laryngeal nerve
  • Unilateral
  • Idiopathic