OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - To determine whether injection augmentation reduces the likelihood of ultimately needing definitive framework surgery in unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) patients.
STUDY DESIGN - Retrospective cohort study.
METHODS - All patients diagnosed with UVFP (2008-2012) at the academic center were identified. The time from symptom onset to presentation to either community otolaryngologist and/or academic center, as well as any directed treatment(s), were recorded. Stepwise, multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine whether injection augmentation independently affected odds of needing definitive, framework surgery among patients who were seen within 9 months of symptom onset and had not undergone any prior rehabilitative procedures.
RESULTS - Cohort consisted of 633 patients (55% female, 80% Caucasian, median age 60 years) with UVFP. The majority of etiologies were either surgery (48%) or idiopathic (37%). Duration to presentation at community otolaryngologist was shorter than to the academic center (median 2 vs. 6 months). Overall, less than half of UVFP patients had any operation (46%). Multivariate logistic regression found that earlier injection augmentation did not affect odds of ultimately undergoing framework surgery (odds ratio 1.13; confidence interval, 0.92-1.40; P = 0.23).
CONCLUSION - Nearly half of UVFP patients do not require any rehabilitative procedure. When indicated, early injection augmentation is effective at temporarily alleviating associated symptoms but does not reduce likelihood of needing a definitive framework operation in patients with UVFP. Understanding practice patterns and fostering early detection and treatment may improve quality of life in this patient population.
© 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.