Stroboscopic assessment of unilateral vocal fold paralysis: a systematic review

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 Sep;276(9):2377-2387. doi: 10.1007/s00405-019-05562-x. Epub 2019 Jul 26.


Purpose: To review the relevant basic stroboscopic evaluations in unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). Our aim was twofold: (1) to determine the frequency of use of stroboscopic parameters in outcome evaluation after surgical treatment of UVFP using a Pareto diagram; and (2) to select the most relevant parameters in terms of a significant difference between pre- and post-surgical intervention for UVFP.

Methods: A systematic review in PUBMED includes studies on stroboscopic evaluation in combination with UVFP and surgical treatment. The review was limited to English studies published between 1990 and March 2018. The most frequently used stroboscopic parameters were identified using a Pareto diagram. Then, 'the percentage of significance' for the most frequently stroboscopic parameters was identified by comparing the number of studies that showed a statistically significant change in pre- and post-treatment results with the total number of studies using the same parameters.

Results: Seven stroboscopic parameters were nominated using the Pareto diagram. In decreasing order of citation frequency, periodicity, edge bowing, mucosal wave, glottic gap, position of vocal fold, amplitude, and symmetry have respective percentages of significance of 87.5%, 83.3%, 77.7%, 64.5%, 60%, 57.1%, and 50%. Five pertinent scales were selected for the most frequent and significant stroboscopic parameters.

Conclusions: The results indicate that periodicity, edge bowing, mucosal wave, glottic gap, and position of vocal fold represent the five most frequently used and relevant stroboscopic parameters in UVFP evaluation. The current review outlines a proposal scale of these stroboscopic parameters.

Prospero registration number: CRD42019126786.

Keywords: Injection laryngoplasty; Medialization laryngoplasty; Stroboscopic parameters; Unilateral vocal fold paralysis; Videolaryngostroboscopy.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Glottis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Laryngoplasty / methods
  • Stroboscopy* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / drug therapy*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery
  • Vocal Cords / surgery