Mild Vocal Fold Paresis: Understanding Clinical Presentation and Electromyographic Findings

Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah, Arlene Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Summary: The implications of mild vocal fold hypomobility are incompletely understood. This study describes the clinical, electromyographic, and probable etiologic findings in patients who presented with complaints of dysphonia and whose physical examination revealed vocal fold paresis as a factor possibly contributing to their voice complaints. A retrospective chart review of all patients who presented to a tertiary laryngology referral center over a 13-month period, who had a clinical diagnosis of mild vocal fold hypomobility and who underwent laryngeal electromyography, were included in the study. A total of 22 patients completed the medical evaluation of their voice complaint. Of these patients, 19 (86.4%) were found to have evidence of neuropathy on laryngeal electromyography. The clinical picture indicated the following probable origins for the vocal fold paresis: goiter/thyroiditis (7/22 or 31.8%), idiopathic (4/22 or 18.2%), viral neuritis (4/22 or 18.2%), trauma (3/22 or 13.6%), and Lyme's disease (1/22 or 4.5%). This article describes the clinical entity of mild vocal fold hypomobility and associated flexible laryngoscopic, rigid strobovideolaryngoscopic, and laryngeal electromyographic findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • EMG
  • Laryngeal electromyography
  • Larynx
  • Vocal fold hypomobility
  • Vocal fold paresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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