Laryngeal ultrasound a non-invasive, accurate way to detect vocal cord polyps
China: Transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography has the potential to be an effective, highly accurate, and non-invasive supplement to laryngoscopy for initial screening and post-operative review of vocal fold polyps, shows a recent study. According to the study, published in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography can identify the morphology and location of vocal fold polyps.
With the increasing prominence of ultrasound in clinical practice, studies have shown the modality to be beneficial for visualizing numerous vocal cord issues including nodules and paralysis. Vocal cord polyps are one of the most common benign vocal fold lesions seen in clinical practice but only a few studies have evaluated the use of laryngeal ultrasound for vocal cord polyps.
Hua Wang, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China, and colleagues explored the value of transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography in the diagnosis of vocal fold polyps.
The researchers enrolled 87 patients with vocal fold polyps diagnosed pathologically in the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University from December 2016 to June 2019. They were examined by electronic laryngoscopy and percutaneous laryngeal ultrasound on the same day before the operation. To observe the effect of calcification length as a percentage of thyroid cartilage at the glottic level on vocal fold display, the characteristics of ultrasound images of vocal fold polyps and the value of transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography in the diagnosis of vocal fold polyps were assessed.
Key findings of the study include:
- Among 87 patients, the calcification rate of thyroid cartilage at the glottic level was 33.3%.
- The differences in calcification rate and percentage of calcification length between males and females were statistically significant.
- The rate of detection of vocal folds decreased gradually with an increase in calcification length percentage. Imaging features of vocal fold polyps were hypo-echoic with a clear boundary and regular shape.
- The detection rates for circular and non-circular polyps were 92.0% and 70.6%.
- Ultrasound was more likely to detect circular than non-circular polyps; however, the difference was not significant.
"Transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasonography can identify the morphology and location of vocal fold polyps and is non-invasive and highly accurate. Therefore, it has the potential to be an effective supplement to laryngoscopy for initial screening and post-operative review of vocal fold polyps," concluded the authors.
The study, "Application of Transcutaneous Laryngeal Ultrasonography in the Diagnosis of Vocal Fold Polyps," is published in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.