Vocal Fold Cysts Workup

Updated: Feb 02, 2023
  • Author: John Schweinfurth, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Diagnostic Procedures

Videostroboscopy is essential to making the diagnosis of a cyst. The mucosal wave overlying the cyst is decreased or absent in comparison with the opposite vocal fold because the cyst tethers the mucosa, altering the biomechanical properties of the lamina propria and preventing mucosal wave propagation. Nodules and polyps, which are contained entirely within the superficial layers of the lamina propria, usually do not severely hamper mucosal wave propagation (see Vocal Polyps and Nodules).

Despite the excellent visualization provided by videostroboscopy, it cannot replace direct laryngoscopy and palpation of the lesion as the criterion standard for diagnosis and should not be considered a substitute, especially in patients in whom a neoplastic process is possible.