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To determine whether patients would have equivalent or improved outcomes when receiving non-surgical management versus surgical removal for vocal process granulomas.
A chart review was performed for 53 adults with vocal process granulomas. All patients received baseline anti-reflux treatment consisting of twice-daily proton pump inhibitors and vocal hygiene education. Further treatment approaches were divided into non-surgical (i.e. inhaled corticosteroids, voice therapy, botulinum toxin injections) and surgical groups. Subjective parameters (Voice Handicap Index 10 and Reflux Symptom Index) and outcomes were tabulated and statistically compared. Cause of granuloma was also analysed to determine if this influenced outcomes.
Of 53 patients, 47 (89 per cent) experienced reduction in granuloma size, while 37 (70 per cent) experienced complete resolution. The rate of complete granuloma resolution after initial treatment strategy alone was significantly higher in non-surgical compared to surgical patients (67 and 30 per cent, respectively; p = 0.039). No difference in outcome was seen between iatrogenic and idiopathic granulomas.
Non-surgical patients were more likely to experience initial treatment success than those who underwent surgical removal. Continued emphasis should be placed on conservative treatment options prior to surgery for patients with this condition.
To quantitatively test the hypothesis that older patients have increased thyroarytenoid muscle atrophy by comparing thyroarytenoid muscle volumes across different age groups.
A retrospective chart review was conducted. The study included 111 patients with no history of laryngeal pathology. Two investigators reviewed magnetic resonance imaging studies of these patients and manually traced the thyroarytenoid muscles on multiple slices bilaterally. Thyroarytenoid muscle volumes were then computed using imaging analysis software. Patients were stratified into three age groups (18–50 years, 51–64 years, and 65 years or older) for comparison.
Intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were excellent for all measurements (intraclass correlation co-efficient > 0.90). There was no statistically significant difference in the mean volumes of left and right thyroarytenoid muscles in all age and gender groups.
Given the lack of statistically significant difference in thyroarytenoid muscle volume between age groups on magnetic resonance imaging, the prevailing assumption that age-related thyroarytenoid muscle atrophy contributes to presbyphonia should be re-examined.