To compare voice quality after radiotherapy or endoscopic laser surgery in patients with similar T1a midcord glottic carcinomas according to a validated multidimensional protocol.
Retrospective cohort study.
University cancer referral center.
Two cohorts of consecutive patients willing to participate after treatment for primary T1a midcord glottic carcinoma with laser surgery (18 of 23 eligible) or radiotherapy (16 of 18 eligible).
Main Outcome Measures
Posttreatment voice quality was evaluated according to a multidimensional voice protocol based on validated European Laryngological Society recommendations, including perceptual, acoustic, aerodynamic, and stroboscopic analyses, together with patient self-assessment using the Voice Handicap Index.
Approximately half of the patients had mild to moderate voice dysfunction in the perceptual analysis (53% [8 of 15] in the radiotherapy group and 61% [11 of 18] in the laser surgery group) and on the Voice Handicap Index (44% [7 of 16] in the radiotherapy group and 56% [10 of 18] in the laser surgery group). The voice profile in the laser surgery group was mainly breathy; in the radiotherapy group, it was equally breathy and rough, with a trend for more jitter in the acoustic analysis. There was no statistical difference in the severity of voice dysfunction between the groups in any of the variables.
Endoscopic laser surgery offers overall voice quality equivalent to that of radiotherapy for patients with T1a midcord glottic carcinoma, although specific voice profiles may ultimately be different for the 2 modalities. We believe that endoscopic laser surgery is the preferred treatment in these patients because it provides oncologic control similar to that of radiotherapy and the additional benefits of lower costs, shorter treatment time, and the possibility of successive procedures.