Vocal Cord and GERD
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laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) Demonstrating arytenoid erythema and edema. This 35 year old male with long standing reflux disease. The upper endoscopy displayed reflux esophagitis. Findings suggestive of laryngopharyngeal reflux include the following: erythema of the arytenoid, interarytenoid area or laryngeal surface of the epiglottis; a cobblestone appearance of the interarytenoid area; edema of the true vocal cords; inflammatory lesions of the true vocal cords, such as granuloma and contact ulcer; and pooling of secretions in the hypopharynx. Edema of the true vocal cords can range from mild to severe; severe edema has the appearance of polypoid masses. Vocal cord edema of this degree can result in severe dysphonia, stridor or airway compromise. The edema develops in the superficial layer of the lamina propria of the true vocal cords, also called Reinke's space. Thus, it is often referred to as Reinke's edema. The presence of edema of the true vocal cords is highly suggestive of laryngopharyngeal reflux, even in the absence of laryngeal erythema.
International Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies
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