Influence of asymmetric recurrent laryngeal nerve stimulation on vibration, acoustics, and aerodynamics

Dinesh K. Chhetri, Juergen Neubauer, Elazar Sofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis Evaluate the influence of asymmetric recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) stimulation on the vibratory phase, acoustics and aerodynamics of phonation. Study Design Basic science study using an in vivo canine model. Methods The RLNs were symmetrically and asymmetrically stimulated over eight graded levels to test a range of vocal fold activation conditions from subtle paresis to paralysis. Vibratory phase, fundamental frequency (F0), subglottal pressure, and airflow were noted at phonation onset. The evaluations were repeated for three levels of symmetric superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) stimulation. Results Asymmetric laryngeal adductor activation from asymmetric left-right RLN stimulation led to a consistent pattern of vibratory phase asymmetry, with the more activated vocal fold leading in the opening phase of the glottal cycle and in mucosal wave amplitude. Vibratory amplitude asymmetry was also observed, with more lateral excursion of the glottis of the less activated side. Onset fundamental frequency was higher with asymmetric activation because the two RLNs were synergistic in decreasing F0, glottal width, and strain. Phonation onset pressure increased and airflow decreased with symmetric RLN activation. Conclusion Asymmetric laryngeal activation from RLN paresis and paralysis has consistent effects on vocal fold vibration, acoustics, and aerodynamics. This information may be useful in diagnosis and management of vocal fold paresis. Level of Evidence N/A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2544-2550
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Recurrent laryngeal nerve
  • acoustics
  • high speed video
  • laryngeal asymmetry
  • phonation
  • vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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