Arytenoid lateralization for treatment of laryngeal paralysis in 10 cats

Vet Surg. 2009 Jun;38(4):445-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2009.00547.x.


Objective: To describe the signalment, history, clinical signs, surgical technique, and outcome for cats with laryngeal paralysis that had arytenoid lateralization.

Study design: Case series.

Animals: Cats with laryngeal paralysis (n=10).

Methods: Medical records (1996-2002) for cats with laryngeal paralysis that had arytenoid lateralization were reviewed for signalment, history, clinical signs, degree of paralysis, cause, concurrent medical conditions, surgical technique, and outcome. Follow-up information was obtained from owners or referring veterinarians.

Results: Of 10 cats, 9 had bilateral and 1 had unilateral laryngeal paralysis. Arytenoid lateralization were unilateral (n=7), bilateral (1), and staged bilateral procedures (2), 10 days and 3 years apart, respectively. Postoperatively, 1 cat had persistent inspiratory noise because of minimal enlargement of the rima glottidis and 2 cats required a temporary tracheostomy for management of laryngeal swelling. Three cats developed aspiration pneumonia and died 4, 7, and 150 days after surgery; all 3 had bilateral (simultaneous or staged) procedures. Of the 7 remaining cats, 4 were alive at follow-up and 3 had died of causes unrelated to arytenoid lateralization. The calculated mean survival time for all 10 cats was 406 days (median, 150 days; range, 4-1825 days).

Conclusions: Arytenoid lateralization was effective at enlarging the rima glottidis and reducing signs of airway obstruction in most cats.

Clinical relevance: Unilateral arytenoid lateralization is a feasible option for the surgical management of cats with marked clinical signs; however, bilateral procedures should be avoided or at least performed with considerable caution because of the apparent risk for aspiration pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arytenoid Cartilage / surgery*
  • Cat Diseases / surgery*
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / adverse effects
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / methods
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / veterinary*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / veterinary*