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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Jan;126(1):21-5.

Pediatric vocal fold paralysis: a long-term retrospective study.

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Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England.



To review our experience of pediatric vocal fold paralysis (VFP), with particular emphasis on etiological factors, associated airway pathologic conditions, and treatment and prognostic outcomes.


Retrospective case review of a cohort of patients presenting with VFP.


Tertiary referral center.


A consecutive sample of 102 patients presenting with VFP to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England, over a 14-year period from 1980 to 1994.


There was an almost equal distribution of unilateral (52% [n = 53]) and bilateral (48% [n = 49]) VFP. Iatrogenic causes (43% [n = 44]) formed the largest group, followed by idiopathic VFP (35% [n = 36]), neurological causes (16% [n = 16]), and finally birth trauma (5% [n = 5]). Associated upper airway pathologic conditions were noted in 66% (n = 23) of patients who underwent tracheotomy. Tracheotomy was necessary in only 57% (n = 28) of children with bilateral VFP. Prognosis was variable depending upon the cause, with neurological VFP having the highest rate of recovery (71% [5/7]) and iatrogenic VFP the lowest rate (46% [12/26]).


Recovery after an interval of up to 11 years was seen in idiopathic bilateral VFP; this has significant implications when considering lateralization procedures in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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