Abnormal Laryngopharyngeal Sensation in Adductor Laryngeal Dystonia Compared to Healthy Controls

Vy Vy N. Young, Joseph Kidane, Grant E. Gochman, David J. Bracken, Yue Ma, Clark A. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives: Laryngeal sensory abnormality has been implicated as a component of adductor laryngeal dystonia (AdLD). The study objective was to assess laryngopharyngeal sensation in AdLD utilizing a calibrated, tactile aesthesiometer to deliver differential stimuli to lateral pyriform sinus (LPS), aryepiglottic fold (AEF), and false vocal fold (FVF). Methods: Patients with known Botox-responsive AdLD underwent sensory testing using a previously-validated methodology involving calibrated tactile stimuli (6–0, 5–0, 4.5–0, 4–0 nylon monofilaments). Laryngeal adductor reflex (LAR) and participant-rated perceptual strength of stimulI were evaluated. Responses were compared to normative controls (n = 33). Two-samples, Mann–Whitney and Fisher exact tests compared mean strength ratings and LAR between AdLD and control groups. Mixed-effects logistic regression and linear models assessed association of filament size, stimulus site, age, sex, and LD status on LAR and perceptual strength rating respectively. Results: Thirteen AdLD patients (nine women, mean age 60+/−15 years) completed testing. Average LAR response rates were higher amongst all filament sizes in AdLD versus controls at LPS (56.3% vs. 35.7%) and AEF (96.1% vs. 70.2%) with comparable rates at FVF (90.2% vs. 91.7%). AdLD had 3.3 times the odds of observed LAR compared to controls (p = 0.005), but differences in subjective detection of stimuli, perceptual strength ratings, and cough/gag rates were insignificant on multivariate modeling (p > 0.05). Conclusions: This is the first study to objectively assess laryngopharyngeal sensation in AdLD. Findings demonstrated increased laryngopharyngeal sensation in AdLD compared to controls. The identification of increased laryngeal hypersensitivity in these patients may improve understanding of AdLD pathophysiology and identify future targets for intervention. Level of Evidence: 2 Laryngoscope, 133:2271–2278, 2023.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2271-2278
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • adductor spasmodic dysphonia
  • laryngeal dystonia
  • laryngeal sensation
  • sensory testing
  • spasmodic dysphonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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