Vocal cord dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Four cases and a review of the literature

Maaike M. van der Graaff, Wilko Grolman, Erik J. Westermann, Hans C. Boogaardt, Hans Koelman, Anneke J. van der Kooi, Marina A. Tijssen, Marianne de Visser

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Abstract

We describe 4 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and glottic narrowing due to vocal cord dysfunction, and review the literature found using the following search terms: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neuron disease, stridor, laryngospasm, vocal cord abductor paresis, and hoarseness. Neurological literature rarely reports vocal cord dysfunction in ALS, in contrast to otolaryngology literature (4%-30% of patients with ALS). Both infranuclear and supranuclear mechanisms may play a role. Vocal cord dysfunction can occur at any stage of disease and may account for sudden death in ALS. Treatment of severe cases includes acute airway management and tracheotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1333
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume66
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Dyspnea
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vocal Cords
  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • MULTIPLE SYSTEM ATROPHY
  • ABDUCTOR PARALYSIS
  • PARKINSONS-DISEASE
  • MYASTHENIA-GRAVIS
  • LARYNGEAL STRIDOR
  • LARYNGOSPASM
  • MANIFESTATION
  • PARESIS
  • VOICE
  • MOTOR

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