Unilateral vocal cord paralysis due to meningoencephalitis in a pediatric patient

Rachel Hall, Sarah E. Maurrasse, Alok I. Jaju, Douglas R. Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vocal cord palsies in the setting of meningoencephalitis are extremely rare but have been reported in adults. Here we present a 2-year-old female with viral meningoencephalitis who was intubated for airway protection due to status epilepticus and developed post-extubation stridor and hoarseness. On flexible laryngoscopy, she was found to have a left unilateral vocal cord paralysis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed hyperintensity in the dorsal medulla in the region of the vagal nerve nucleus. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of pediatric vocal cord paralysis due to viral meningoencephalitis with associated inflammation of the medulla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100366
JournalOtolaryngology Case Reports
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Pediatrics
  • Stridor
  • Viral
  • Vocal cord paralysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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