Acute Laryngitis Workup

Updated: Sep 11, 2020
  • Author: Rahul K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • No laboratory studies are necessary. If the patient has an exudate in the oropharynx or overlying the vocal folds, a culture may be taken. As Vaughan indicates, do not institute antibiotic coverage until the results of the Gram stain and cultures with sensitivity have been determined. [9]


Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • Direct fiberoptic or indirect laryngoscopy may be performed to provide a view of the larynx. This examination reveals redness and small dilated vasculature on the inflamed vocal folds.

  • Analysis of vocal fold movement reveals asymmetry and aperiodicity with reduced mucosal waves and incomplete vibratory closure. The propagation of the mucosal wave is also reduced. Ng describes a finding by Colton and Casper that the mucosal wave appears to have 2 distinct velocities of travel. [8] The wave travels at 1 speed on the surface of the vocal fold; but, at a discrete point, it changes its speed of travel. Indeed, this change may be because of the edema and intrinsic inflammation of the vocal fold, which affects the inherent motion of the vocal fold in an irregular manner.