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March 1973

Delayed Reinnervation of the Paralyzed Larynx: An Experimental Study in the Dog

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Surgery (Head and Neck), UCLA School of Medicine and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wadsworth Veterans' Administration Hospital, Los Angeles.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(3):291-293. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010299017

Respiratory function of the paralyzed animal larynx can be reestablished by implanting the phrenic nerve into the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle immediately after section of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. Clinically, it is not unusual to observe spontaneous return of vocal cord function up to six months from the onset of paralysis when the nerve injury does not involve complete transection. This study was designed to determine the period of denervation within which the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle can be effectively reinnervated by phrenic nerve implant. The degree of functional reinnervation becomes less as the period of denervation increases and there appears to be a time beyond which effective reinnervation is not possible.

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