Current management of arytenoid sub-luxation and dislocation

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Nov;277(11):2977-2986. doi: 10.1007/s00405-020-06042-3. Epub 2020 May 23.


Purpose: To review the current management of arytenoid subluxation/dislocation (AS/AD) focusing on diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic controversies.

Methods: The international literature of the last 20 years has been considered. After the application of inclusion criteria, 20 studies were selected (471 AS/AD cases in total).

Results: All the included investigations were retrospective case series. AS/AD was often iatrogenic occurring at least in 0.01% of patients undergone endo-tracheal intubation. The most common symptom was persistent hoarseness. The diagnosis was made by video-laryngoscopy and neck computed tomography in most reports, while some used also laryngeal electromyography. Laryngeal electromyography was fundamental to rule out unilateral vocal fold paralysis, the main differential diagnosis. The surgical relocation of AS/AD under general or local anesthesia was achieved in about 80% of patients.

Conclusion: AS/AD is a mechanical disorder of the larynx that can be successfully treated if promptly diagnosed. Clinical trials and multi-centric studies are necessary to set management guidelines.

Keywords: Arytenoid dislocation; Arytenoid subluxation; Dysphonia; Hoarseness; Laryngeal electromyography; MDVP; Voice acoustic analysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arytenoid Cartilage / diagnostic imaging
  • Arytenoid Cartilage / surgery
  • Hoarseness
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Larynx*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis* / etiology