Recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis: a laryngographic and computed tomographic study

Radiology. 1983 Jul;148(1):149-55. doi: 10.1148/radiology.148.1.6856825.


Vocal cord paralysis is a relatively common entity, usually resulting from a pathologic process of the vagus nerve or its recurrent laryngeal branch. It is rarely caused by intralaryngeal lesions. Fourteen patients with recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis (RLNP) were evaluated by laryngography, computed tomography (CT), or both. In the evaluation of the paramedian cord, CT was limited in its ability to differentiate between tumor or RLNP as the cause of the fixed cord, but it yielded more information than laryngography on the structural abnormalities of the larynx and pre-epiglottic and paralaryngeal spaces. Laryngography revealed distinct features of RLNP and is the procedure of choice for evaluation of functional abnormalities of the larynx until further experience with faster CT scanners and dynamic scanning of the larynx is gained.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Larynx / diagnostic imaging*
  • Larynx / pathology
  • Larynx / physiopathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology
  • Vocal Cords / diagnostic imaging