Swallowing performance in patients with vocal fold motion impairment

Dysphagia. 1995 Summer;10(3):149-54. doi: 10.1007/BF00260968.


Twenty-seven patients with vocal fold motion impairment underwent detailed pharyngoesophagel manometry with a strain gauge assembly linked to a computer recorder. Nine were known to have lesions of the central vagal trunk or nucleus, 9 had recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsy, and the remainder were idiopathic. The site of the lesion was a more important determinant of subjective swallowing performance than the position of the involved cord at laryngoscopy. Patients with central lesions had lower tonic and contraction upper esophageal sphincter (UES) pressures than 25 age-matched controls, suggesting that high cervical branches of the lower cranial nerves are important in UES excitatory innervation. RLN palsy patients showed significantly increased pharyngeal contraction amplitude and reduced pharyngoesophageal wave durations. The results suggest that the dysphagia associated with vocal fold motion impairment is not simply due to the disruption of laryngeal deglutitive kinetics, but to independent effects on pharyngeal function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Deglutition / physiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Esophagogastric Junction / innervation
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiopathology
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Pharynx / physiopathology
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve / physiopathology
  • Vagus Nerve / physiopathology
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / complications
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / physiopathology*