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March 1967

Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis and Benign Thyroid Disease

Author Affiliations

Bournemouth, England
From the United Birmingham Hospitals, Birmingham, England.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(3):335-337. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040337018

PREOPERATIVE paralysis of a recurrent laryngeal nerve is far more commonly associated with malignant than benign disease of the thyroid gland. Ceroni et al,1 in a series of 100 cases, showed that 24% of recurrent laryngeal nerve paralyses were associated with benign conditions. Cunning,2 in a much larger series, showed the incidence to be only 2.3%. The present article records an additional eight cases occurring in a series of 1,200 consecutive patients with thyroid disease undergoing thyroidectomy.

Materials and Methods  A series of 1,200 consecutive patients admitted for thyroidectomy were examined routinely preoperatively for evidence of laryngeal nerve paralyses. This was a highly select group, clinical examination excluding all but those with thyroid disease.Vocal cord paralysis was used to determine recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, both preoperatively and postoperatively. The vocal cords were examined within seven days postoperatively to determine the result of surgical removal of the thyroid

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