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Laryngoscope. 2013 Nov;123(11):2780-6. doi: 10.1002/lary.24146. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Restructuring the vocal fold lamina propria with endoscopic microdissection.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, U.S.A.



The purposes of this preclinical study were to investigate histologic and rheologic outcomes of Microendoscopy of Reinke's space (MERS)-guided minithyrotomy and to assess its instrumentation.


Human cadaveric and in vivo animal study.


Three human cadaveric larynges were treated with MERS-guided placement of Radiesse VoiceGel and immediately evaluated histologically for biomaterial location. In the second part of this investigation, two scarred porcine larynges were treated with MERS-guided placement of HyStem-VF and rheologically evaluated 6 weeks later. Student t tests determined differences in viscoelastic properties of treated/untreated vocal folds. Sialendoscopes and microendoscopes were subjectively compared for their visualization capacity.


MERS imaged the subepithelial area and vocal ligament, guiding both tissue dissection and biomaterial positioning. Sialendoscopes provided adequate visualization and feature incorporated working channels. Enhanced image clarity was created in a gas-filled rather than saline-filled environment, per rater judgment. Histological analysis revealed desirable biomaterial positioning with MERS. Per rheological analysis, viscoelastic properties of the MERS-treated porcine vocal folds compared to uninjured vocal folds 6 weeks following treatment did not statistically differ.


MERS-guided laryngoplasty using sialendoscopes yielded satisfactory biomaterial positioning in the short-term and normalized rheologic tissue properties in the long-term, contributing to proof of concept for MERS in the treatment of scarring. Strengths of MERS include direct, real-time visualization of Reinke's space and an ability to manipulate surgical instruments parallel to the vocal fold edge while maintaining an intact epithelium. Future work will explore the clinical utility of MERS for addressing scarring, sulcus vocalis, and other intracordal processes.

Copyright © 2013 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.


Laryngoscopy; Reinke's space; minithyrotomy; sialendoscopy; vocal fold scarring

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