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Muscle Nerve. 2014 Jul;50(1):114-8. doi: 10.1002/mus.24111. Epub 2014 May 5.

Prospective investigation of nimodipine for acute vocal fold paralysis.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC Mercy Building B, Suite 11500, 1400 Locust Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15219, USA.



Nimodipine has been shown to be beneficial for recovery from acute vocal fold paralysis (AVFP) in an animal model.


prospective, open-label trial of patients with AVFP was performed using nimodipine. Consecutive patients were evaluated and offered nimodipine therapy.


Fifty-three patients were considered for treatment with nimodipine. Thirteen did not qualify for inclusion, 5 were lost to follow-up, and 7 had side effects requiring cessation of treatment. Thus 28 patients (30 paralyzed vocal folds) were analyzed. Eighteen of the paralyzed vocal folds experienced recovery of purposeful motion (60%). Historical controls and laryngeal electromyography meta-analysis suggest no more than a 20% recovery rate from AVFP.


This open label study using nimodipine for treatment of AVFP demonstrates tripling of the recovery rate of vocal fold motion compared with historical controls. Further study in a randomized, controlled manner is warranted.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


laryngeal electromyography; laryngeal muscle innervation; nerve regeneration/drug effects; nimodipine; vocal cord paralysis

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