Microvascular lesions of the true vocal fold

Gregory N. Postma, Mark S. Courey, Robert H. Ossoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Microvascular lesions, also called varices or capillary ectasias, in contrast to vocal fold polyps with telangiectatic vessels, are relatively small lesions arising from the microcirculation of the vocal fold. Varices are most commonly seen in female professional vocalists and may be secondary to repetitive trauma, hormonal variations, or repeated inflammation. Microvascular lesions may either be asymptomatic or cause frank dysphonia by interrupting the normal vibratory pattern, mass, or closure of the vocal folds. They may also lead to vocal fold hemorrhage, scarring, or polyp formation. Laryngovideostroboscopy is the key in determining the functional significance of vocal fold varices. Management of patients with a varix includes medical therapy, speech therapy, and occasionally surgical vaporization. Indications for surgery are recurrent hemorrhage, enlargement of the varix, development of a mass in conjunction with the varix or hemorrhage, and unacceptable dysphonia after maximal medical and speech therapy due to a functionally significant varix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-476
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Larynx
  • Varix
  • Vascular lesions
  • Vascular malformation
  • Vocal fold


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