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Voice Outcomes Following Multiple Surgeries for Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis

Lindsey A Parker, Melda Kunduk, David Blouin, Lacey Adkins, Andrew J McWhorter
Journal of Voice 2019 February 19

OBJECTIVES: Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) is a rare disease caused by the human papilloma virus that presents as warty, exophytic growths in the upper airway. RRP in the larynx can lead to severe airway obstruction and voice changes. It is clinically known that patients with RRP frequently experience dysphonia. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of multiple surgical treatments on RRP patients' voice outcomes, and to determine whether a higher number of repeated surgeries lead to decreased voice quality.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of adult RRP patients (n = 23) who underwent multiple surgeries. Group 1 included patients (n = 11) who had <5 surgeries (range 2-4 surgeries) and Group 2 included patients (n = 12) who had ≥5 surgeries (range 5-50+ surgeries). Voice recordings were selected from the following clinic visits: initial office visit (initial presurgery), first postsurgery, and the last clinic encounter(s) with no immediate planned surgery. Blinded auditory-perceptual ratings along with cepstral and spectral acoustic measures assessed voice severity.

RESULTS: There was significant improvement from the initial presurgery visit compared to each postoperative visit over time for all voice outcome measures for both Group 1 and Group 2. The results of the study indicated that the number of surgeries did not significantly affect mean postoperative voice outcomes, and there were no significant differences between patient groups for voice quality over time.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that RRP patients' voice quality may not suffer cumulative negative effects when using modern tissue-sparing surgical techniques.


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