It is only recently that recurrent laryngeal paralysis has been known to be caused by mitral stenosis. Oertner1 in 1897 presented two cases of this condition. Heretofore this etiology was unheard of. One can judge how rare the syndrome is by the fact that in the literature there are only eleven cases confirmed by necropsy. The mechanics of the paralysis are explained by the necropsy findings in selected reported cases. The cases are two of Oertner's, one each of Hofbauer, Frischhauer, Kraus, Freystadtl and Stranz.
In the first case of Oertner, the lumen of the left auricle was distended to the size of a man's fist. The enlarged auricle in its filled state caused compression of the left bronchus, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, and the aortic arch. At the point of compression, the nerve for about 2 mm. was grayish, transparent and thinned out, and microscopically showed degeneration.
ROSENTHAL J. PARALYSIS OF THE RECURRENT LARYNGEAL NERVE RESULTING FROM MITRAL STENOSIS. JAMA. 1916;LXVI(5):333–335. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580310015005
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: