Persistent Dysphonia in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Link to article at PubMed

J Voice. 2021 Jul 24:S0892-1997(21)00234-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.07.001. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The main objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of persistent dysphonia in hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: Data were collected from those COVID-19 patients who, during the months of March to April 2020, were hospitalised in ward or intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Fuenlabrada. Patients with dysphonia prior to SARS-CoV-2 were excluded. Informed consent was obtained orally by a telephone call, as well as clinical and epidemiological data. Patients who reported persistent dysphonia were assessed using the Voice Handicap Index 10, the maximum phonation time, the s/z ratio and a fibrolaryngoscope examination. Patients who reported persistent dysphagia were assessed with the Eating Assessment Tool 10.

RESULTS: A total of 79 patients were included in the study (48 men and 31 women). 10 ICU patients (25%) and 4 ward patients (10,3%) had dysphonia at least 3 months after hospital discharge, but no association was found between ICU admission and the presence of persistent dysphonia (P = 0.139). Persistent dysphonia in patients admitted to the ICU is associated with persistent dysphagia (P = 0.002), also the age of patients with persistent dysphonia is significantly higher than the age of non-dysphonic patients (P = 0.046). The most frequent exploratory finding was vocal cord paresis/paralysis (60.4%).

CONCLUSION: This is one of the first studies to show that persistence of dysphonia may be a consequence of COVID-19, so further studies are needed to assess the evolution and prognosis of these patients and the possible association of dysphonia with the severity of the disease.

PMID:34384660 | DOI:10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.07.001

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