There has been recent debate about whether patients with vocal cord immobility have a neurologic paralysis or whether synkinesis, the misdirection of axons to competing laryngeal muscles, is responsible for the lack of voluntary vocal cord motion. This issue was studied in 15 patients with vocal cord paralysis who underwent laryngeal reinnervation. Evoked electromyography was performed with a surface electrode endotracheal tube. The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) was identified and stimulated with constant current. Of the 15 patients, only 1 produced a compound muscle action potential upon nerve stimulation. The remaining 14 patients had no evoked response during RLN stimulation. A control group of 8 patients with normal vocal cord mobility was studied, and each had a normal evoked electromyography response after RLN stimulation. These results support the assertion that patients who require treatment for vocal cord paralysis do not have synkinesis produced by RLN reinnervation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000171097200003
View details for PubMedID 11558756