Age-related changes affecting the cricoarytenoid joint seen on computed tomography | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Age-related changes affecting the cricoarytenoid joint seen on computed tomography

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August 22, 2018
by Georges Ziade, MD; Sahar Semaan, MD; Sarah Assaad, MPH; Abdul Latif Hamdan, MD, EMBA, MPH


We conducted a retrospective chart review to compare four characteristics-cricoarytenoid joint ankylosis, narrowing, erosion, and density increases-in patients younger and older than 65 years. Our study population was made up of 100 patients, who were divided into two groups on the basis of age. The younger group (<65 yr) comprised 49 patients (27 men and 22 women), and the older group (≥65 yr) was made up of 51 patients (25 men and 26 women). Findings on computed tomography (CT) of the neck were used to determine whether each of the four characteristics was present or absent. Overall, we found only one statistically significant difference between the two groups: ankylosis was significantly more common in the older group (p = 0.036). When we looked further at the side of these anatomic changes, we found that the older group had significantly more right-sided and left-sided ankylosis than did the younger group (p = 0.026 for both), as well as significantly more left-sided narrowing (p = 0.028) (some patients had bilateral involvement). When we analyzed age as a continuous variable, older age was again associated with significantly more ankylosis (p = 0.047) and narrowing (p = 0.011). We conclude that CT can be useful for assessing radiologic changes in the cricoarytenoid joint in elderly patients during the workup of dysphonia and abnormal movement of the vocal folds.

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