Choosing Wisely:

Don’t obtain CT or MRI in patients with a primary complaint of hoarseness prior to examining the larynx.

Rationale and Comments: Examination of the larynx with mirror or fiberoptic scope is the primary method for evaluating patients with hoarseness. Imaging is unnecessary in most patients and is both costly and has potential for radiation exposure. After laryngoscopy, evidence supports the use of imaging to further evaluate 1) vocal fold paralysis or 2) a mass or lesion of the larynx.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation
  • Sources:
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation practice guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Otolaryngologic
  • References: • Schwartz SR, et al. Clinical practice guideline: hoarseness (dysphonia). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;141(3 suppl 2):S1-31.

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