A rare cardiac cause of hoarseness of voice



Ismail I Berekat, Abdulrahman Azzu

Department of Cardiology Gwynedd Hospital Bangor, UK Email: iiberekat@yahoo.com

Libyan J Med 2010, 5: 4623 – DOI: 10.4176/091029


Hoarseness of voice caused by the damage of the recurrent laryngeal nerve as a result of cardiac causes is known as Ortner’s or cardio-vocal syndrome. This syndrome was described by Nobert Ortner, an Austrian physician, in 1897 (1). Initially it was thought to be due to the enlargement of the left atrium as a result of severe mitral stenosis in rheumatic heart disease. However, it was found, later, to be caused by other conditions rather than rheumatic heart disease (2). The accepted mechanism of this syndrome is the compression of the recurrent laryngeal nerve from the enlargement of the pulmonary artery in the window area between the aorta and ligamentum arteriosum. This condition was quite common at the beginning of last century due to a high incidence of untreated rheumatic heart disease. Although, it is very rare to see it nowadays, it still poses a treatment challenge. We would like to share our experience in diagnosing and treating a patient with Ortner’s syndrome caused by severe mitral valve prolapse. To the best of our knowledge Ortner’s caused by mitral valve prolapse has been reported only once.

Keywords: A rare cardiac cause of hoarseness of voice

Link/DOI: http://www.libyanjournalofmedicine.net/index.php/ljm/article/view/4623/5080