Introduction: Vocal cord paralysis is the total interruption of nerve impulse resulting in absence of laryngeal muscle movement.
The most common type of vocal cord paralysis found is due to recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. The pathology can be either along
the course of the tenth cranial nerve from cerebral cortex to neuromuscular junction or could be from mechanical fixation of
Objective: To study the various etiological factors contributing to vocal cord paralysis.
Materials and methods: Patients with vocal cord paralysis [unilateral and bilateral] who were treated at a tertiary institute for
a period of 3 years were included. The immobility of cords was assessed with the use of indirect laryngoscopy via mirror or rigid
angled telescopy or flexible laryngoscopy. The patients were categorized based on laterality of paralysis as well as based on various
etiological factors into groups. Appropriate statistical analysis was done.
Results: Among 50 patients, 84 % cases had unilateral vocal cord paralysis. Surgical cause was found to be the most common
etiology of unilateral vocal cord paralysis (34%) closely followed by idiopathic (18%) and neoplasm (16%). In bilateral vocal cord
paralysis, surgical and neurological causes were found to be the main causative factor.
Conclusion: Vocal cord paralysis has a wide range of factors contributing to its occurrence with surgical cause being a common
one. A comprehensive assessment of patient should be performed to determine the cause which facilitates a direct treatment plan.