Ortner's syndrome revisited

J Laryngol Otol. 1998 Apr;112(4):377-9. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100140514.


Hoarseness of voice due to paralysis of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve caused by a dilated left atrium in mitral stenosis as discussed by Ortner, is a subject of controversy. Different authors have cited different mechanisms as explanation. A variety of cardiac problems such as primary pulmonary hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, various congenital heart disorders can all lead to paralysis of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve. Most authors believe that pressure in the pulmonary artery causes the nerve compression. In Papua New Guinea cor pulmonale and rheumatic heart disease are the commonest cardiac disorders seen. Ortner's syndrome is a rarity and has never been reported from here before. Here three different case reports are presented with mitral stenosis, primary pulmonary hypertension and combined mitral stenosis and regurgitation and the pathogenesis of hoarseness is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / complications*
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Laryngeal Nerves / pathology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / complications*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / pathology
  • Pulmonary Artery / pathology
  • Syndrome
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / pathology