Immunohistochemical characterization of benign laryngeal lesions

Mark S. Courey, Margie A. Scott, Jack A. Shohet, Robert H. Ossoff

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96 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that laryngeal nodules and polyps represent injury to the basement membrane zone of the vocal fold. Repeated trauma from shearing forces produced by excessive or abusive phonation leads to basement membrane zone disruption and thickening. This thickening, along with poorly understood vascular changes, creates the characteristic clinical appearance of the vocal nodule or polyp. As such, to better understand vocal fold nodules it is imperative to characterize the extracellular matrix in this area of injury. Secondary to the small size and relatively acellular nature of these lesions, hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) preparations of histologic material are unsatisfying. A previous study examined this area with immunohistochemical techniques to better characterize its contents. The report, however, contained little information with regard to the clinical appearance of the lesions prior to excision. Therefore, we were prompted to review histologic material from 31 patients who underwent microsurgical excision of 41 benign lesions, vocal nodules (4), polyps (19), polypoid corditis (4), and cysts (14) with immunohistochemical techniques to characterize the patterns of fibronectin and collagen type IV within these lesions. Normal human vocal folds were stained for control. All material was correlated with the H and E preparations and the clinical diagnosis. Collagen type IV and fibronectin appeared present in relatively abnormal patterns in the areas adjacent to the lesion. This study validates earlier results. In addition, correlation with clinical data allows association of immunohistochemical staining patterns with clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • basement membrane zone
  • benign laryngeal lesions
  • collagen
  • cyst
  • fibronectin
  • immunohistochemistry
  • nodule
  • polyp
  • vocal fold


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