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J Laryngol Otol. 2000 Jan;114(1):61-3.

Hoarse voice resulting from premature ageing in Werner's syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Nissan Tamagawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Werner's syndrome is characterized by clinical signs of premature ageing. A 42-year-old man presented with three-year history of hoarseness. Also noted were skin atrophy of the face and hands, ulcerations around the ankles, and a history of cataracts. A clinical diagnosis of Werner's syndrome was made. Laryngoscopy revealed bowed vocal folds resulting in a spindle-shaped defect with glottal incompetence during phonation. Examination also revealed decreased maximum phonation time and vocal fatigue. At surgery, atrophy of the vocalis muscle was noted. Furthermore, degeneration of muscle fibres was noted in the temporalis muscle. The atrophic changes in the vocal folds that occur with ageing and result in an increased fundamental frequency were seen in this patient. The characteristic hoarseness of Werner's syndrome appears to be the result of premature ageing of the vocal-folds.

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