Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reinke’s Oedema: Causes, Features, Treatment

It is bilateral symmetrical swelling of the whole of
membanous part of the vocal cords, most often seen in
middle-aged men and women. This is due to oedema of
the subepithelial space (Reinke's space) of the vocal

Causes: Chronic irritation of vocal cords due to misuse of
voice, heavy smoking, chronic sinusitis and laryngopharyngeal
reflex are the probable aetiological factors. It
can also occur in myxoedema.
Clinical Features
Hoarseness is the common symptom. Patient uses false
cords for voice production and this gives him a lowpitched
and rough voice.
On indirect laryngoscopy, vocal cords appear as
fusiform swellings wi th pale translucent look. Ventricular
bands may appear hyperaemic and hypertrophic and may
hide the view of the true cords.
1. Decortication of the vocal cords, i.e. removal of
strip of epithelium, is done first on one side and 3-4
weeks later on the other.
2. Voice rest.
3. Speech therapy for proper voice production.

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