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J Clin Imaging Sci. 2013 Mar 29;3:15. doi: 10.4103/2156-7514.109751. Print 2013.

Losing your voice: etiologies and imaging features of vocal fold paralysis.

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Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Neurogenic compromise of vocal fold function exists along a continuum encompassing vocal cord hypomobility (paresis) to vocal fold immobility (paralysis) with varying degrees and patterns of reinnervation. Vocal fold paralysis (VFP) may result from injury to the vagus or the recurrent laryngeal nerves anywhere along their course from the brainstem to the larynx. In this article, we review the anatomy of the vagus and recurrent laryngeal nerves and examine the various etiologies of VFP. Selected cases are presented with discussion of key imaging features of VFP including radiologic findings specific to central vagal neuropathy and peripheral recurrent nerve paralysis.


Computed tomography; imaging; paralysis; recurrent laryngeal nerve; vagus nerve; vocal cords; vocal-fold-paralysis

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