Citation Information :
Subramaniasamy G, Joshi AA, Kini SA, Bradoo RA. Transcutaneous Laryngeal Ultrasonography: A Reliable and Noninvasive Alternative to Laryngoscopy in Diagnosing Vocal Fold Palsy. Int J Phonosurg Laryngol 2023; 13 (1):9-13.
Aim: The aim of this study is to validate the usefulness of laryngeal ultrasonography as a screening tool for vocal fold palsy by correlating it with laryngoscopy findings.
Methods: The study includes 60 patients in a tertiary care center over a period of 1 year. Based on the findings of Hopkins 70° rigid laryngoscopy, the patients were categorized into two groups, group I with normal vocal fold mobility and group II with vocal fold palsy. Laryngeal ultrasonography was then done on all the patients by a team of well-trained ultrasonologists, blinded from the laryngoscopy results. These results were then correlated.
Result: The vocal folds were appreciated in laryngeal ultrasonography, and the mobility was assessed successfully in 56 of these patients, and results were found to be correlating with the laryngoscopy findings in all these patients. In four patients, the vocal folds could not be visualized by ultrasonography due to severe calcification of the thyroid cartilage. In our study, we noted that as a screening tool, laryngeal ultrasonography has a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 96.67%.
Conclusion: Laryngeal ultrasonography is a simple, easy, cheap, non-invasive, and easily available tool in diagnosing vocal fold palsy, where laryngoscopy is not possible. Laryngoscopy is an aerosol-generating procedure, hence carries a risk of spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection or other similar communicable diseases. Laryngeal ultrasonography circumvents this problem and can be used as a primary diagnostic tool in suspected cases of vocal fold palsy. The utility may be limited to some extent in elderly male patients when the thyroid cartilage is severely calcified.
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