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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Mediastinal traction injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve: An unusual cause for a hoarse voice

Michael K. Ng, Andrew Barling, Sorway Chan

Am J Case Rep 2012; 13:36-37

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.882595

Available online: 2012-03-14

Published: 2012-03-14


Background:    Chest wall trauma is a frequent cause for emergency department presentations, with traumatic pneumathoraces a relatively common occurance. Vocal cord paralysis however, is uncommon.
    Case Report:    A 44 year old man presented with a traumatic pneumothorax following a fall. A weak and hoarse voice was noted and vocal cord palsy demonstrated on indirect laryngoscopy. CT chest was unremarkable for mediastinal lesions.
    Conclusions:    Clinicians need be mindful of traction injuries to mediastinal structures when examining those with chest wall injuries.

Keywords: Laryngeal nerve, dysphonia, Mediastinum