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Idiopathic Laryngeal Spasm: Management And Long-term Outcome

D. Pinder, S. McDonald, M. Medcalf, M. Bridger
Published 2006 · Medicine

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Idiopathic laryngeal spasm (ILS) is an uncommon disorder characterised by brief episodes of stridor, occurring at any time. Subsequent outpatient ENT examination is normal. These episodes cause considerable anxiety for both patient and physician. Little is known about the initiating event(s) in this condition or the long-term outcome. Using a combination of telephone and postal questionnaires with case note review, we have reviewed a cohort of 21 patients with this diagnosis managed by the senior author over the last 15 years. None of the 19 patients who responded were worse; 13 (68%) described improvement or complete resolution of symptoms. ILS is difficult to classify in the spectrum of vocal cord disorders, but appears distinct to those previously described. The condition responds well to a conservative management approach of reassurance and counselling.
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