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Comparison of the diagnostic and prognostic abilities of flexible laryngoscopy and dynamic digital radiography for vocal cord paralysis: A prospective observational study.

Head & Neck 2024 April 2
BACKGROUND: Although flexible laryngoscopy (FL) is the reference modality for diagnosing vocal cord paralysis (VCP), FL involves patient discomfort and insertion intolerance. Dynamic digital radiography (DDR) with high spatial and temporal resolution is easier to use and less invasive when evaluating VCP.

METHODS: Seventy-eight patients underwent FL and DDR before and after neck surgery. Qualitative and quantitative vocal cord movement (VCM) evaluations were conducted. Patients with postoperative VCP were followed-up regularly.

RESULTS: DDR exhibited diagnostic performance with 67% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The cutoff for VCM was 2.4 mm, with DDR exhibiting 100% sensitivity and 78% specificity. All cords with transient VCP had positive VCM at both 3 weeks and 2 months. Additionally, 50% and 75% of cords with permanent VCP had negative VCM at 3 weeks and 2 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: DDR is promising for the diagnosis of postoperative VCP and early prediction of permanent postoperative VCP.

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