Sulcus vocalis

August 10, 2012
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Laryngoscopic Clinic

Sulcus vocalis causes stiffness of the vibratory margin of the vocal folds, and often in adynamic segments. Patients can experience hoarseness, breathiness, increased phonation threshold pressures, decreased vocal efficiency and, commonly, voice fatigue.

     A 68-year-old man, a retired counselor, had a “raspy” voice throughout his entire life. He reported hoarseness, difficulty speaking loudly, and vocal fatigue. His vocal handicap index (VHI) was 53.

     Strobovideolaryngoscopy revealed bilateral sulcus vocalis (figure 1). This congenital lesion results in deficiency or absence of the superficial layer of the lamina propria. Figure 2 shows an ellipsoidal area along the left vocal fold where there is only a thin layer of epithelium over the vocal ligament.

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CitationEar Nose Throat J. 2012 August;91(8):310