School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Intubation Related Vocal Cord Paresis: Outcomes from a Patient Cohort

Document Type

Poster

Abstract Category

Clinical Specialties

Keywords

Otolaryngology, Vocal Cords, Intubation, ENT

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2019

Abstract

Vocal cord paresis and paralysis are recognized complications of endotracheal intubation; the effects of such complications can range from quality of life changes such as effortful speaking, vocal fatigue, and loss of high register, to more severe outcomes like aspiration pneumonia and complete voice loss.1 62 patients were included in this study; each of these subjects was diagnosed with vocal fold paresis/paralysis based on five assessments: patient history, subjective rating scales, laryngeal examination, laryngeal electromyography (EMG), and acoustic/aerodynamic measures. Subjects were classified into four groups based on EMG interpretations of reinnervation or denervation: mixed, reinnervation, denervation, and none. The above groupings, plus the duration of time between the intubation date and EMG date, were combined to create a new definition of prognosis of each subject's vocal cord paresis/paralysis. Using these criteria, a score was determined for each patient—a score closer to 2 indicated a good prognosis while a score closer to 0 indicated a poor prognosis. Data analysis was conducted on 3 tiers of patients. Our analyses of all patients showed that subjects less than or equal to 60 years of age had an average prognosis score of 1.21 while subjects above the age of 60 had a score of 0.79; the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.05). Hypertension was found to be the most common comorbidity seen in patients diagnosed with a post-intubation vocal cord paresis/paralysis. Results from the second tier of analysis showed that of all 38 patients for whom we had post-treatment data for, only 9 patients (24%) achieved complete resolution of their vocal cord paresis/paralysis (defined as a Glottal Function Index (GFI) of 7 or below and a physical exam score of 0). The average age of subjects that did and did not achieve complete resolution was 54.44 and 59.94 years, respectively. A chi-squared analysis assessing the relationship between age at intubation and outcomes showed no statistically significant differences (p = 0.05). We also found that patients with complete resolution of their vocal cord dysfunction had a post-treatment average GFI of 2.89, which was 4.77 points lower than the average GFI for patients without complete resolution. This difference was statistically significant at p = 0.05. Using the compiled data we were able to show how various cofactors can be used to determine both the initial prognosis and outcomes of the patients with post-intubation vocal cord paresis.

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Presented at Research Days 2019.

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Intubation Related Vocal Cord Paresis: Outcomes from a Patient Cohort

Vocal cord paresis and paralysis are recognized complications of endotracheal intubation; the effects of such complications can range from quality of life changes such as effortful speaking, vocal fatigue, and loss of high register, to more severe outcomes like aspiration pneumonia and complete voice loss.1 62 patients were included in this study; each of these subjects was diagnosed with vocal fold paresis/paralysis based on five assessments: patient history, subjective rating scales, laryngeal examination, laryngeal electromyography (EMG), and acoustic/aerodynamic measures. Subjects were classified into four groups based on EMG interpretations of reinnervation or denervation: mixed, reinnervation, denervation, and none. The above groupings, plus the duration of time between the intubation date and EMG date, were combined to create a new definition of prognosis of each subject's vocal cord paresis/paralysis. Using these criteria, a score was determined for each patient—a score closer to 2 indicated a good prognosis while a score closer to 0 indicated a poor prognosis. Data analysis was conducted on 3 tiers of patients. Our analyses of all patients showed that subjects less than or equal to 60 years of age had an average prognosis score of 1.21 while subjects above the age of 60 had a score of 0.79; the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.05). Hypertension was found to be the most common comorbidity seen in patients diagnosed with a post-intubation vocal cord paresis/paralysis. Results from the second tier of analysis showed that of all 38 patients for whom we had post-treatment data for, only 9 patients (24%) achieved complete resolution of their vocal cord paresis/paralysis (defined as a Glottal Function Index (GFI) of 7 or below and a physical exam score of 0). The average age of subjects that did and did not achieve complete resolution was 54.44 and 59.94 years, respectively. A chi-squared analysis assessing the relationship between age at intubation and outcomes showed no statistically significant differences (p = 0.05). We also found that patients with complete resolution of their vocal cord dysfunction had a post-treatment average GFI of 2.89, which was 4.77 points lower than the average GFI for patients without complete resolution. This difference was statistically significant at p = 0.05. Using the compiled data we were able to show how various cofactors can be used to determine both the initial prognosis and outcomes of the patients with post-intubation vocal cord paresis.