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An approach to the management of paroxysmal laryngospasm

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2007

R J Obholzer
Affiliation:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
S A R Nouraei
Affiliation:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
J Ahmed
Affiliation:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
M R Kadhim
Affiliation:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
G S Sandhu
Affiliation:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
Corresponding
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Abstract

Objective:

To review the presentation, risk factors and management of paroxysmal laryngospasm.

Study design:

Retrospective review of cases.

Setting:

A teaching hospital otolaryngology department with a subspecialty interest in airway disorders.

Patients:

All patients diagnosed with laryngospasm over a two-year period were reviewed. Information was obtained about disease presentation, risk factors, management and symptom resolution.

Results:

Laryngospasm was diagnosed in nine women and six men. The average age at presentation was 56±6.5 years, and there was an 80 per cent association with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Proton pump inhibitors led to complete symptom resolution in six patients and to partial symptomatic relief, requiring no further treatment, in a further four patients. Of the remaining five patients unresponsive to proton pump inhibitor therapy, two continued to experience syncopal episodes due to laryngospasm. Both these patients achieved complete remission after laryngeal botulinum toxin injection. Symptoms recurred after three to four months and were successfully treated with a repeat injection.

Conclusions:

The primary risk factor for spontaneous laryngospasm is laryngopharyngeal reflux. Symptoms are distressing and may be relieved in most cases by treatment aimed at suppressing gastric acid secretion. Laryngeal botulinum toxin injection appears to be a viable treatment modality in selected patients with refractory symptoms.

Type
Main Articles
Copyright
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2007

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References

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