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Arch Neurol. 2009 Nov;66(11):1329-33. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2009.250.

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

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Department of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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