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Carroll Co-Authors Article in Laryngoscope Supplement

Dr. Linda Carroll, director of YU's graduate program in speech-language pathology, co-authored an article in the December supplement to The Laryngoscope.

Linda Carroll Dr. Linda Carroll

Titled "Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Reinnervation in Children: Acoustic and Endoscopic Characteristics Pre-intervention and Post-intervention - A Comparison of Treatment Options," the article, co-authored by Dr. Karen Zur '98E, examines treatment outcomes for children diagnosed with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, a dysfunction of the recurrent laryngeal or vagus nerve more common in children who were delivered prematurely or have undergone tumor excision, which causes a characteristic breathy voice often accompanied by swallowing disability, a weak cough, and the sensation of shortness of breath. Zur and Carroll studied results of children who received no treatment, children who received injections, and children who received laryngeal reinnervation, surgical procedures intended to restore neural connections to the larynx. Their results found that children with reinnervation had a better long-term outcome, and that the timing of reinnervation in relation to the initial damage to the nerve doesn't appear to significantly impact that outcome.

Their findings for management of vocal fold paralysis in children are particularly significant because reinnervation has not had as much success in adult patients, possibly because it often follows thyroid surgery, which can make identification and selection of a good donor nerve more difficult. "This research is one of the largest subject groups for pediatric vocal fold paralysis and signals to the medical community that reinnveration of the vocal fold is possible and successful in pediatric patients, with the ability to yield a nearly normal voice," said Carroll. "With a functional voice, children can participate in academic and social environments more successfully, and have more career options available as adults."