Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Concerning the Positions of Paralyzed Vocal Bands [Reprinted from the New York Medical Journal for June 5, 1886, Offprint]
Hooper, Franklin H.
no longer stimulated by nerve-currents, the posterior flexi¬ 
ble parts fall slightly forward under the influence of gravity ; 
the bowing and apparent shortening of the vocal band are 
due to the tilting forward and downward of the arytenoid 
cartilage. We have not yet had an opportunit)' of testing 
this hypothesis by experiment. It may be urged that if 
this is true we should invariably have the same picture in 
all cases of recurrent paralysis. But, whatever the explana¬ 
tion may be, we do not. Wc know, from our own experi¬ 
ments on dogs and cats of different age and size, that, after 
section of one recurrent nerve, the vocal band does not in¬ 
variably assume the same position. In the great majority 
of cases the paralyzed vocal band remains in the intermedi¬ 
ate, the so-called “ cadaveric,” position, hut sometimes it is 
motionless nearly in the median line ; again, it may be 
tense, its free edge sharply defined, or it may be apparently 
curved, an appearance caused, perhaps, in part, by a promi¬ 
nent vocal process, or an unusually large amount of yellow 
elastic tissue in that region. The appearance of the ary¬ 
tenoid cartilage and ary-epiglottic fold of the affected side 
standing in front of that of the opposite side has not been 
observed as yet in any of our experiments on the lower ani¬ 
mals. This forward position of the arytenoid cartilage and 
of the parts surmounting it is not seen in every case of uni¬ 
lateral paralysis of the larynx, and it may depend upon the 
nerve-supply, which differs in different individuals, or upon 
the seat of the cause of the paralysis, or perhaps upon some 
anomaly of the distribution of the muscular fibers of the 
ary-epiglottic fold. Bundles of muscular fibers are not in¬ 
frequently found in this region, running this way or that, 
which we take to be the stylo-larvngeus and the thyro-ary- 
tenoideus superior of Luschka, and which, probably, have 
no particular office unless it be to strengthen the ary-epi¬ 
glottic fold.


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