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September 1983

Tapia's Syndrome After Thoracotomy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurosurgery, the University of Groningen, and the Department of Neurology, Princess Irene Ziekenhuis, Almelo, the Netherlands.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(9):622-623. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800230058014

• Tapia's syndrome, a unilateral paralysis of the muscles of the tongue associated with palsy of the ipsilateral vocal cord, was observed in two patients within a short time of each other, after they had undergone thoracotomy. It can be understood as an extremely localized lesion just at the crossing of the vagal and hypoglossal nerves. Pressure neuropathy of both nerves due to inflation of the cuff within the larynx is an accepted cause. An alternative explanation is that stretch, caused by downward traction of the esophagus, is transferred to both nerves, those being closely connected in many places, and ultimately causing damage to them.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:622-623)

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