Korean J Anesthesiol.  1996 Nov;31(5):645-648. 10.4097/kjae.1996.31.5.645.

Respiratory Difficulty following Tracheal Extubation: A case of bilateral vocal cord paralysis

  • 1Department of Anestheisology, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.


We had a case of respiratory difficulty following tracheal extubation due to bilateral vocal cord paralysis. The patient was a 66-year-old woman undergoing craniotomy for cerebellopontine angle meningioma. Anesthesia was uneventful. Spontaneous respiration resumed after reversal of neuromuscular blockade. Following extubation she showed inspiratory stridor, tachypnea, and chest retraction. Reintubation was done and then tracheostomy was performed. Every factor contributing vocal cord paralysis such as pressure on the nerve by an overexpanded endotracheal tube cuff, unique posture of the neck during the operation, and female gender, long operating time(about 11 hours) were seemed to be possible causes and we considered the interaction of these combinations responsible for the bilateral vocal cord paralysis. Eight weeks later, the patient's vocal cord function had returned to normal.


Complication intubation; bilateral vocal cord paralysis
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