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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2012, Article ID 367873, 3 pages
Case Report

Thoracic Saccular Aortic Aneurysm Presenting with Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy prior to Aneurysm Rupture: A Prodrome of Thoracic Aneurysm Rupture?

Department of Otolaryngology, Saitama Medical Center, 1981 Kamoda, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama 350-8550, Japan

Received 3 January 2012; Accepted 12 February 2012

Academic Editors: G. Paludetti and H. Sudhoff

Copyright © 2012 Masafumi Ohki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy rarely results from cardiac disease. We present 2 cases of left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy caused by thoracic saccular aortic aneurysms. One patient suffered an aortic aneurysm rupture one month after the advent of hoarseness, necessitating emergency surgery with aortic arch replacement. The other patient underwent elective aortic arch replacement surgery. Both saccular aortic aneurysms protruded downward in the aortopulmonary window to compress the recurrent laryngeal nerves. This is only the 5th case report of the rare occurrence of acute recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy subsequent to saccular aneurysm rupture in the English literature. Recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy does not always indicate imminent aneurysm rupture, but should trigger awareness of a potential rupture in the near future. Left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy might be a prodrome of aneurysm rupture.