Defining differences in patient characteristics between spasmodic dysphonia and laryngeal tremor

Laryngoscope. 2019 Jan;129(1):170-176. doi: 10.1002/lary.27245. Epub 2018 Nov 13.


Objective: To compare presenting characteristics of patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD), ADSD with laryngeal tremor (ADSD + LT), and laryngeal tremor without ADSD (LT).

Design: Cross-sectional analysis.

Methods: Patients treated for laryngeal movement disorders (1990-2016) were included. Analysis of variance and chi square tests measured differences in patient characteristics across the three disease groups. Using ADSD as the referent, multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine whether potential risk factors including patient demographics, family history, presence of potential inciting events prior to disease onset, and coprevalent movement disorders were associated with ADSD + LT or LT.

Results: In all, 652 patients with ADSD (n = 377), ADSD + LT (n = 98), and LT (n = 177) were included. ADSD patients were significantly younger than those with ADSD + LT and LT (52.5 ± 13.4, 63.9 ± 11.3, and 69.3 ± 10.5 years, respectively; P < 0.001). Coprevalent movement disorders were more common in ADSD + LT (38.7%) and LT (57.1%) groups than in the ADSD group (11.5%; P < 0.001). Compared to ADSD, patients with ADSD + LT and LT were more likely to develop an additional movement disorder during follow-up. In multivariable analyses, increasing age, female gender, and having a movement disorder at presentation were associated with significantly greater odds of having ADSD + LT or LT when compared to ADSD.

Conclusion: ADSD + LT patients demonstrate intermediate gender composition and age distributions between those with ADSD and LT. These findings suggest that ADSD + LT may be a distinct phenotype in the spectrum of laryngeal movement disorders.

Level of evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 129:170-176, 2019.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dysphonia* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases* / complications
  • Laryngismus*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Tremor