Ortner’s Syndrome-A Rare Cause of Hoarseness: Its Importance to an Otorhinolaryngologist

Document Type : Case Report


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India.


Cardiovocal hoarseness (Ortner’s syndrome) is hoarseness of voice due to recurrent laryngeal nerve involvement secondary to cardiovascular disease. Recurrent laryngeal nerve in its course (especially the left side) follows a path that brings it in close proximity to numerous structures. These structures interfere with its function by pressure or by disruption of the nerve caused by disease invading the nerve. However painless asymptomatic intramural hematoma of the aortic arch, causing hoarseness as the only symptom, is a rare presentation as in this case.

 Case Report:
We report a case of silent aortic intramural hematoma which manifested as hoarseness as the only presenting symptom. A detailed history and thorough clinical examination could not reveal the pathology of hoarseness. The cause of hoarseness was diagnosed as aortic intramural hematoma on contrast computed tomography. Thus the patient was diagnosed as case of cardiovocal hoarseness (Ortner’s syndrome) secondary to aortic intramural hematoma.
A silent aortic intramural hematoma with hoarseness as the only presenting symptom is very rare. This particular case report holds lot of significance to an otolaryngologist as he should be aware of this entity and should always consider it in the differential diagnosis of hoarseness.


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