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October 1955

The Role of the Cricothyroid Muscle in Tension of the Vocal Cords: An Experimental Study in Dogs Designed to Release Tension of the Vocal Cords in Bilateral Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Research Laboratories of the Beth Israel Hospital.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;62(4):347-353. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.03830040001001

A study of bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis in dogs was undertaken for the purpose of finding a way of altering the muscular control of the vocal cords so as to release either or both of them from the adducted position and so avoid the need for a permanent tracheotomy tube. Study of the muscular control of the larynx suggested that a more satisfactory solution of the problem than removal of the arytenoid and changing the position of a cord, as is done in the King, Kelly, and Woodman1 operations, should be possible (Fig. 1).

Semon's Law* states that in bilateral laryngeal nerve paralysis adduction prevails longer than abduction because the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle, which controls the latter position, fails first. Murtagh and Campbell † lent support to this law by observing in animal experiments that the fibers of the adductor muscles were greater in size and number than

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