Multidimensional assessment of functional outcomes of medialization thyroplasty

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2005 Aug;262(8):616-21. doi: 10.1007/s00405-004-0755-7. Epub 2004 Dec 10.


Medialization thyroplasty (MT) is the most widely used laryngeal framework phonosurgical procedure for managing glottic incompetence secondary to unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). The aim of the study was to evaluate the functional outcomes of MT in 32 UVFP patients, comparing multidimensional perceptual and instrumental measures of voice before and after surgery, and to evaluate how close to normal that postoperative voice measure became. Video laryngostroboscopy (VLS), auditory perceptive evaluation of voice, the patients' self-evaluation of hoarseness on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and calculation of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), analysis of objective acoustic voice parameters, quantitative assessment of phonetograms and measurement of maximum phonation time were conducted. Vocal function was evaluated before the surgery and for the period from 1 month to 3 years (Mo 1.0 month; Me 2.0 months) after MT. VLS confirmed remarkable medialization of the paralyzed vocal fold. As a consequence, hoarseness and breathiness were found to be significantly decreased after MT. Pitch and intensity range and phonetogram area were significantly increased. A significant decrease of jitter, shimmer and normalized noise energy reflected improvement of the stability of acoustic signal and a more efficient pattern of phonation. Thus, the perceptual and acoustic voice parameters studied showed statistically significant differences (P < 0.001) between preoperative and postoperative voices, and these objective measurements of voice changes provided accurate and documentary evidence of the results of surgical treatment. A high degree of patient satisfaction with the MT was confirmed by a significant decrease of VHI and hoarseness on VAS. Thus, results of the present investigation confirm the functionality and effectiveness of MT in patient voice rehabilitation with UVFP. However, the means of acoustic voice parameters measured in the study did not reach normal limits, probably because of the remaining underlying condition of UVFP.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phonation / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Thyroid Cartilage / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / physiopathology*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery*
  • Voice Quality / physiology*