Ortner syndrome

Ortner syndrome, also known as cardiovocal syndrome, is characterized by hoarse voice resulting from left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy secondary to a cardiovascular disorder.


Left recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy in this condition is due to traction or compression of the nerve between the thoracic aorta and pulmonary artery 1-7. The left recurrent laryngeal nerve arises from the left vagus (X) nerve and passes underneath the aortic arch posterior to the ligamentum arteriosum before it ascends into the left tracheoesophageal groove to reach the larynx 8


The original description of Ortner syndrome is due to a markedly distended left atrium secondary to mitral stenosis which has a reported incidence of 1.5% to 6% 7.

Other causes include 1-7:

History and etymology

It is named after Norbert Ortner (1865-1935), an Austrian physician 6.

Article information

rID: 29441
System: Cardiac, Chest
Section: Syndromes
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cardiovocal syndrome
  • Ortner's syndrome
  • Cardio-vocal syndrome

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3: left vocal cord paralysis
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  • Case 3: pseudocoarctation of the aorta
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  • Case 4
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