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May 1983

Manual Strangulation Injuries of the Larynx

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, (Dr Stanley); and the Section of Head and Neck Surgery, Veterans Administration Wadsworth Medical Center, Los Angeles (Dr Hanson). Dr Stanley is now with Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(5):344-347. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800190066017

• Laryngeal injuries secondary to manual strangulation are seen more often by the forensic pathologist than by the otolaryngologist. Forces sufficient to cause thyroid and cricoid cartilage fractures are usually sufficient to cause acute asphyxia and death. However, due to the static nature of the compressive forces applied in strangulation, fractures of the cartilaginous framework may occur without obvious mucosal disruption or submucosal hematoma formation. If the victim survives the initial assault and the injuries go unrecognized and untreated, delayed life-threatening airway obstruction or long-term vocal dysfunction may result. Computed tomography seems to be an excellent noninvasive technique to evaluate and verify cartilaginous laryngeal fractures and soft-tissue injury. Recognition of the potential for such injuries is the key to management and treatment.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:344-347)

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