Evaluating post-radiotherapy laryngeal function with laryngeal videostroboscopy in early stage glottic cancer

Ariel E. Marciscano, Vivek Charu, Heather M. Starmer, Simon R. Best, Harry Quon, Alexander T. Hillel, Lee M. Akst, Ana P. Kiess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Dysphonia is common among patients with early stage glottic cancer. Laryngeal videostroboscopy (LVS) has not been routinely used to assess post-radiotherapy (RT) voice changes. We hypothesized that LVS would demonstrate improvement in laryngeal function after definitive RT for early-stage glottic cancer. Study design: Blinded retrospective review of perceptual voice and stroboscopic parameters for patients with early glottic cancer and controls. Setting: High-volume, single-institution academic medical center. Subjects and methods: Fifteen patients underwent RT for Tis-T2N0M0 glottic cancer and were evaluated with serial LVS exams pre- and post-RT. Stroboscopic assessment included six parameters: vocal fold (VF) vibration, VF mobility, erythema/edema, supraglottic compression, glottic closure, and secretions. Grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain (GRBAS) voice perceptual scale was graded in tandem with LVS score. Assessments were grouped by time interval from RT: pre-RT, 0-4, 4-12, and > 12 months post-RT. Results: 60 LVS exams and corresponding GRBAS assessments were reviewed. There were significant improvements in ipsilateral VF motion (P = 0.03) and vibration (P = 0.001) and significant worsening in contralateral VF motion (P < 0.001) and vibration (P = 0.008) at > 12 months post-RT. Glottic closure significantly worsened, most prominent > 12 months post-RT (P = 0.01). Composite GRBAS scores were significantly improved across all post-RT intervals. Conclusion: LVS proved to be a robust tool for assessing pre- and post-RT laryngeal function. We observed post-RT improvement in ipsilateral VF function, a decline in contralateral VF function, and decreased glottic closure. These results demonstrate that LVS can detect meaningful changes in VF and glottic function and support its use for post-RT evaluation of glottic cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 12 2017


  • Dysphonia
  • Glottic cancer
  • Laryngeal videostroboscopy
  • Larynx cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stroboscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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