Laryngeal Electromyography

Laryngeal electromyography is a test to assess the strength of the muscles in the larynx, or voice box.

The larynx has many pairs of small muscles that control its movements. There are 4 muscles that are connected to 4 nerves that control the function of our larynx.

Many of the voice and swallowing conditions that we treat at Wake Forest Baptist are caused by an injury to one or more of these nerves.

A laryngeal electromyography can be used to understand the nature of the nerve injury.

Laryngeal Electromyography: What to Expect

During the test, you will lie flat with your neck extended. The skin overlying the Adam's apple will be sterilized with an alcohol-soaked gauze, and a fine needle will be inserted into the muscles around your larynx.

You will most likely wear a grounding electrode, similar to those you might have seen for a painless heart rhythm test, which is then connected to a computer.

While performing a laryngeal electromyography examination, your provider may ask you to sniff or make a sound like a long gentle "eeeee." This causes an activation of the muscles that we are interested in and helps assist in the diagnosis.