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Viral laryngitis: a mimic and a monster – range, presentation, management

Dominguez, Laura M.; Simpson, C. Blake

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: December 2015 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 454–458
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000203

Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to highlight recent literature relating to the diagnosis and treatment of some less common forms of viral laryngitis. The main conditions addressed in this review are chronic cough or postviral vagal neuropathy, varicella zoster infection of the larynx, and a condition increasingly suspected as being virally induced, idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis.

Recent findings Diagnosis of these conditions requires a thorough history and physical exam, and in certain cases referral to other subspecialties such as gastroenterology and pulmonology. Chronic cough due to postviral vagal neuropathy is a diagnosis of exclusion; however, recent literature does suggest that certain studies such as laryngeal electromyography can be of use in reaching a diagnosis. Treatment of this neuropathy has focused on use of neuromodulators. Treatment of laryngeal shingles and idiopathic ulcerative laryngitis has not been well defined because of the rarity of these conditions.

Summary Recent studies regarding these conditions and potential future treatment options will be discussed.

Department of Otolaryngology, UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Correspondence to C. Blake Simpson, MD, Department of Otolaryngology, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, 8300 Floyd Curl Dr MC 7777, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA. Tel: +1 210 450 0700; fax: +1 210 562 9374; e-mail:

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