Does Even Low-Grade Dysphonia Warrant Voice Center Referral?

Resha S. Soni, Barbara Ebersole, Nausheen Jamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Data regarding the referral of dysphonic patients to specialty voice clinics are limited. The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between low perceptual dysphonia severity and subtle laryngeal findings to discern if this can help guide referral. Study Design This is a retrospective chart review. Methods The charts of 94 patients presenting with a primary complaint of hoarseness to a single laryngologist over a 1-year period at a tertiary care, interdisciplinary voice center were analyzed. Patients were stratified by clinician perceptual rating of dysphonia severity using the overall Grade score from the GRBAS (grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain) scale, and this was compared to their laryngeal findings on stroboscopy. Results Forty-one patients had a Grade score of 0 or 1, of whom 85% had relatively subtle findings on stroboscopy, including vocal fold paresis, muscle tension dysphonia, and spasmodic dysphonia. Conclusion Patients with a primary complaint of hoarseness but absent or only mild perceptual dysphonia may have subtle or occult laryngeal findings that may be easily missed. These patients may benefit from early referral to a specialty voice center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-756
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dysphonia
  • Hoarseness
  • Perceptual voice evaluation
  • Stroboscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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