Acquired bilateral adductor laryngeal paralysis in neonates and children: a case series and a systematic review

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Nov;78(11):1866-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2014.08.012. Epub 2014 Aug 17.


Objectives: To present a series of acquired bilateral adductor laryngeal paralysis (BAdLP) and review the literature on clinical manifestations and management.

Methods: A retrospective review of a single tertiary care practice of pediatric otolaryngology was conducted. Patients were identified from a surgical database spanning twelve years of practice (2002-2013). The variables documented included gender, age at presentation, co-morbid conditions, documented laryngeal findings on endoscopy, management and outcome. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify reports on BAdLP in children and associated conditions.

Results: Five cases (four girls and one boy) ranging from 3 months to 16 years of age were identified. All cases were documented using rigid and/or flexible laryngoscopy. In four cases, the onset was after major cardiac surgery complicated by cerebral vascular accidents, while one followed a thalamic stroke. Four were managed with tube feeding. Only three papers reported BAdLP in children.

Conclusions: The cases identified were all acquired after a central neurological insult. The profile is distinct from the congenital adductor form of laryngeal paralysis previously described. However, the symptom complex is identical. We believe this is the largest case series from one center to be reported.

Keywords: Abductor; Adductor; Aspiration; Central nervous system; Laryngeal paralysis; Larynx.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / complications
  • Thalamic Diseases / complications
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Laryngeal Adductor Paralysis