Ugeskr Læger 2009;171(3):109-112
Summary Vocal fold palsy - etiology and outcome Ugeskr Læger 2009;171(3):109-112 Background: The etiology of vocal fold palsy (VFP) is varied, and both Danish and foreign studies report variable frequencies of causes. We have evaluated etiologies of both unilateral (UVFP) and bilateral palsy (BVFP) and also analyzed the outcome of the palsies. As far as we know, our material is the largest published in Danish. Materials and methods: From 01.01.2000 to 30.06.2004 229 patients with VFP were evaluated in the ENT department of Odense University Hospital. We reviewed medical records and registered and analyzed data regarding etiology and outcome. Results: Trauma caused 39% of all cases and was thereby the most common etiology of VFP. 27% of the cases were idiopathic. Cancer caused 22% of all cases, most frequent for left-sided UVFP, but also a substantial number of right-sided and bilateral cases were due to malignancy. Neurological disease caused 18% of BVFP but only 1% of UVFP. The outcome of the palsy depended on the etiology. VFP caused by malignancy only rarely recovered. Chances of recovery were greatest for idiopathic VFP or palsy caused by neurological disease, but also a large proportion of traumatic VFP recovered. Conclusion: In a large patient population from Funen we found that trauma was the most common cause of VFP. Malignancy also frequently caused VFP. The outcome depended on the etiology. This is important when informing patients.