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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1983 Sep-Oct;92(5 Pt 1):424-9.

Three-dimensional computer reconstruction of the distribution of neuromuscular junctions in the thyroarytenoid muscle.


Microinjections of botulinum toxin have recently been shown to be effective in the treatment of strabismus, and it has also been suggested that microinjections of this myoneural blocking agent might be of value in the treatment of spastic dysphonia. The success of such a microinjection technique would rely on a precise knowledge of the distribution of myoneural junctions in the thyroarytenoid muscle. In view of this potential application as well as the need for such information in reinnervation procedures, we have used computer graphics to reconstruct the three-dimensional distribution of motor end-plates in the thyroarytenoid muscle. Three cat and one human (fresh autopsy specimen) larynges were frozen and sectioned on a cryostat. Serial sections were then processed for the histochemical localization of acetylcholinesterase activity to demarcate the neuromuscular junctions. An X-Y digitizer was used to reference the position of the motor end-plates in each serial section, and the three-dimensional distribution of the neuromuscular junctions was reconstructed on a computer graphics terminal. The results are discussed in regard to their applicability to clinical treatment of spastic dysphonia and other disorders of phonation.

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