Combining Voice Rest and Steroids to Improve Diagnostic Clarity in Phonotraumatic Vocal Fold Injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: (1) To describe a combination voice rest and steroid regimen to clarify ambiguous diagnoses in singers who present with phonotraumatic lesions and (2) to determine which videostroboscopic parameters show the most consistent response to this regimen. Study Design: Chart review. Methods: Singers with phonotraumatic vocal fold lesions seen at a tertiary care voice center over a 10-year period were identified. Those who had uncertain diagnoses on initial presentation, completed a combination regimen including voice rest and steroids, and had follow-up examinations were included in the analysis. The effect of this combination regimen was assessed by ratings of pre- and postregimen videostroboscopy examinations and by auditory perceptual ratings. Whether the combination regimen clarified the diagnosis was noted. Results: Twenty-nine singers were prescribed the combination regimen with the intent to clarify the diagnosis. In 79% (23/29) of these singers, the regimen helped clarify diagnosis, for example, ruling in or ruling out specific lesions, confirming areas of scar, or distinguishing acute from chronic phonotraumatic injury. Stroboscopic exams were improved in 86% (25/29). The most common stroboscopic finding was a reduction in the lesion size (66%). Auditory perceptual ratings improved in 48% (14/29) of patients. Conclusions: A “cool down” combination of voice rest and steroids can improve diagnostic clarity in a subset of singers with phonotraumatic lesions. This combination regimen can be considered, with both the side effect profile of steroids and possible financial ramifications of strict voice rest in mind, when the initial diagnosis is unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Voice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Corticosteroid—Voice rest—Phonotrauma—Singers—Benign vocal fold lesions—Vocal fold scar—Vocal fold polyp—Vocal fold cyst—Vocal fold nodule
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN

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