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Definition of Laryngeal palsy

Laryngeal palsy: Paralysis of the larynx (voice box) that is caused by damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which supplies the larynx (voice box), or its parent nerve, the vagus nerve, which originates in the brain stem and runs down to the colon. In laryngeal palsy, the larynx is paralyzed on the side where the recurrent laryngeal nerve has been damaged, unless the problem originated with damage to the vagus nerve itself. Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve can be the result of diseases inside the chest, such as a tumor, an aneurysm of the arch of the aorta, or an aneurysm of the left atrium of the heart.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7640
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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