Laryngeal Reflexes: Physiology, Technique, and Clinical Use

J Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Aug;32(4):284-93. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000187.


This review examines the current level of knowledge and techniques available for the study of laryngeal reflexes. Overall, the larynx is under constant control of several systems (including respiration, swallowing and cough) as well as sensory motor reflex responses involving glossopharyngeal, pharyngeal, laryngeal, and tracheobronchial sensory receptors. Techniques for the clinical assessment of these reflexes are emerging and need to be examined for sensitivity and specificity in identifying laryngeal sensory disorders. Quantitative assessment methods for the diagnosis of sensory reductions and sensory hypersensitivity may account for laryngeal disorders, such as chronic cough, paradoxical vocal fold disorder, and muscular tension dysphonia. The development of accurate assessment techniques could improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in these disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Laryngeal Muscles / pathology
  • Laryngeal Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Reflex / physiology*