Autopsy and Case Reports
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Vocal fold mobility alteration reversed after thyroidectomy

Aline Paterno Miazaki, Vergilius José Furtado Araújo-Filho, Lenine Garcia Brandão, Vergilius José Furtado de Araujo-Neto, Leandro Luongo Matos, Claudio Roberto Cerne

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The involvement of the inferior or recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) in mobility derangement of the vocal folds occurs more frequently due to thyroid malignancy invasion. Although uncommon, the same derangement, which is caused by benign thyroid entities, is also described and reverts to normality after a thyroidectomy in up to 89% of cases. In these cases, the pathogenesis of the vocal cord mobility disturbance is attributed to the direct compression of the RLN by massive thyroid enlargement. The authors describe three cases of patients presenting unilateral vocal cord palsy, which, before surgery, was diagnosed by laryngoscopy concomitantly with large and compressive goiter. Vocal fold mobility became normal after the thyroidectomy in all three cases. Therefore, it is noteworthy that these alterations may present reversibility after appropriate surgical treatment. An early surgical approach is recommended to reduce the nerve injury as much as possible; to preserve the integrity of both RLNs since the nerve function will be restored in some patients.


Goiter, Vocal Cord Paralysis, Thyroidectomy


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