Contact Pressure Between the Vocal Folds in Reinke's Edema: Experimental Observations on an Excised Human Larynx

  • Silva Fabrice
  • Legou Thierry
  • Champsaur Pierre
  • Giovanni Antoine
  • Lagier Aude

  • Excised human larynges
  • Contact stress
  • Reinke’s edema
  • Phonotrauma


Objective. To analyze the range of values of the contact pressure between the membranous vocal folds with Reinke’s edema and to compare it to those observed in the absence of such a lesion. Methods. Two human larynges were separately tested on the experimental bench, one of them with a bilateral loose swelling of the vocal folds. Once in a glottal prephonatory configuration, airflow was increased until achievement of self-sustained oscillations while recording aerodynamic, acoustic, electroglottographic data, and contact pressure between the folds. Results. We observed well-documented variations in acoustical parameters, as the decrease of the fundamental frequency and the increase of the phonation threshold pressure. The results of the study also point to a significant increase in the amplitude of the contact pressure in presence of the Reinke’s edema, and a lower degree of harmonicity of the produced sounds. Conclusion. This is the first report of ex vivo study of a larynx with Reinke’s edema. It highlights the increase in the contact pressure during phonation, which possibly contributes to sustain the lesion once it appeared.