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Influence of the macroscopic features of vocal fold polyps on the quality of voice: A retrospective review of 101 cases

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March 1, 2010
by Gursel Dursun, MD, Selmin Karatayli-Ozgursoy, MD, Ozan Bagis Ozgursoy, MD, Zahide Ciler Tezcaner, MD, Isil Coruh, Audiometrist, and Mehmet Akif Kilic, MD


We conducted a study to examine six macroscopic features of vocal fold polyps and to investigate their influence on quality of voice. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 101 consecutive patients with vocal fold polyps who had undergone microlaryngeal surgery for polyp removal after conservative measures had failed. All patients had undergone videolaryngostroboscopy and perceptual and acoustic voice analyses. The six macroscopic features of these vocal fold polyps were morphologic type, location, position, shape, size, and the presence or absence of a reactive lesion on the contralateral vocal fold. Among our statistically significant findings were that gelatinous polyps tended to be broad-based; polyps located on the superior surface tended to be hemorrhagic; small polyps were mostly located on the middle one-third of the vocal fold, and most of them were broad-based; and all of the polyps that were accompanied by reactive lesions on the contralateral vocal fold were located on the free edge. Moreover, jitter was found to be low in small polyps. Finally, noise-to-harmonics ratios were significantly higher in patients with anterior polyps and in those with pedunculated polyps. We conclude that each of the six macroscopic features of vocal fold polyps affected vocal function to a certain degree. We believe that our study provides additional information to otolaryngologists and speech language pathologists who deal with vocal fold polyps.

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