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More than half of children with bilateral vocal fold paralysis require a tracheostomy for airway management. We report an innovative, minimally invasive approach consisting of onabotulinum toxin A injection into the cricothyroid muscles.
Onabotulinum toxin A was injected under direct vision into the cricothyroid muscles of 6 pediatric patients with bilateral abductor vocal fold paralysis. None of the patients had fold fixation on laryngoscopy performed at the time of the injection. All patients had a documented increase in airway patency as visualized on flexible laryngoscopy within days after injection. This procedure successfully averted a tracheostomy in 5 patients and permitted decannulation of the sixth patient.
Conclusions and Relevance
Onabotulinum toxin A injection into the cricothyroid muscles leads to an increase in the glottic space, providing an adequate airway. Onabotulinum toxin A injection in the cricothyroid muscles could be offered as a safe, effective, noninvasive first-line option for patients with bilateral vocal fold paralysis.
Daniel SJ, Cardona I. Cricothyroid Onabotulinum Toxin A Injection to Avert Tracheostomy in Bilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(9):867–869. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1515
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