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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2009 May;118(5):321-5.

Initial anatomic geographic presentation of glottal dysplasia.

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Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Glottal dysplasia is likely the most common laryngeal disease with a discernible lesion; however, investigations describing its initial anatomic geographic presentation are rare. To examine this, we identified 52 patients who did not have significant prior treatment or glottal cancer. Thirty-one patients had bilateral disease, so there were 83 vocal folds with precancerous dysplasia. The phonatory mucosa was the dominant disease site in all; the epicenter was on the superior surface in 65 of the 83 folds and on the medial surface in 18 of the 83 folds. The arytenoid mucosa was involved in 8 of the 83 folds. Nineteen of the 52 patients had direct anterior-commissure involvement, and none had interarytenoid mucosal disease. The investigation established the commonly held principle that glottal dysplasia occurs primarily on phonatory mucosa. Given the frequent occurrence and recurrence of glottal dysplasia, treatment goals should focus on disease control to prevent malignant degeneration while preserving the subepithelial superficial lamina propria, necessary for phonatory mucosal pliability, vocal fold vibration, and optimal vocal function.

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