Voice Quality After Laryngotracheal Reconstruction

Carol J. Macarthur, Geralyn H. Kearns, Gerald B. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: To ascertain changes in laryngeal anatomy and function associated with poor voice outcome after laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) and to specifically describe dysphonia in pediatric patients treated for subglottic stenosis. Design: A survey was undertaken of patients having undergone LTR for subglottic stenosis. Twelve patients were recruited during the year 1990-1991. Nine patients were able to complete the endoscopic portion of the protocol that included fiberoptic and direct laryngoscopy. Speech samples were qualitatively evaluable in only six of nine patients (vocal quality, loudness, and intelligibility) and objectively in five of nine patients (fundamental frequency and pitch perturbation). Patients: All patients in this consecutive sample had undergone LTR for congenital or acquired subglottic stenosis. The average age was 6 years. Each patient had previously undergone an average of two prior open laryngeal procedures and five endoscopic procedures. Outcome Measures: Correlation between anatomic and functional changes in the post-LTR larynx and voice outcome. Results: Endoscopic evaluation of the post-LTR larynx showed a 78% incidence of altered anatomy and 44% incidence of altered function. Speech sample analysis showed the following: 100% decreased vocal quality, 50% decreased intelligibility, 100% decreased volume, and 80% low fundamental frequency and increased jitter. Conclusions: Children with high-grade subglottic stenosis and multiple prior surgeries are at high risk for poor voice outcome after LTR. Future prospective studies will allow substantiation of this observation and clarification of which changes in laryngeal structure and function arise from surgery per se.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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