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The most important disease process affecting the larynx is laryngeal carcinoma. Yet many other disease processes that affect the surrounding structures may also affect the larynx. The larynx is surrounded by the thyroid and several bony and cartilaginous structures. In addition, there are submucosal salivary glands which may give rise to salivary gland tumors.

The larynx lies between the pharynx and trachea. It is divided into three regions.

Site Components
Glottic True vocal cords
Supraglottic Epiglottis
Ventricular bands (False vocal cords)
Aryepiglottic folds
Arytenoid cartilages
Subglottic Area of merging with the trachea (Most poorly defined anatomically)

As the region changes within the larynx, the epithelium covering it also changes.

Site Epithelium
Epiglottis Stratified squamous epithelium
True vocal cords Stratified squamous epithelium
Few submucosal glands
False cords Ciliated columnar epithelium
Prominent submucosal glands

Laryngeal Carcinoma
Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Larynx


Histopathological Features
and Variants
Commonly Used Terms  
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Chondroid tumors of the larynx: A clinicopathologic study of 19 cases, including two dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas.

Casiraghi O, Martinez-Madrigal F, Pineda-Daboin K, Mamelle G, Resta L, Luna MA.

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2004 Aug;8(4):189-97. Abstract quote

We studied 19 cases of chondroid tumors of the larynx: two chondrometaplastic nodules, two chondromas and 15 chondrosarcomas (including two dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas). One of chondromas recurred 18 months after resection because of inadequate surgical treatment.

Chondrosarcomas were separated as low-grade (nine cases), intermediate (three cases), high-grade (one case), and dedifferentiated (two cases) according to histologic appearance. Chondrosarcomas are nearly always histologically low grade, make up the largest numbers of the neoplasms, and arise from the cricoid cartilage. Conservative surgical management, when possible, is advocated to preserve the larynx.

Chondrometaplastic nodules are to be distinguished from chondrosarcoma and the rarely occurring chondroma. The nodules are not neoplastic and have a low to nil recurrent potential.

Henry JB. Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. Twentieth Edition. WB Saunders. 2001.
Rosai J. Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. Ninth Edition. Mosby 2004.
Sternberg S. Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. Fourth Edition. Lipincott Williams and Wilkins 2004.
Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. Sixth Edition. WB Saunders 1999.
DeMay RM. The Art and Science of Cytopathology. Volume 1 and 2. ASCP Press. 1996.
Weedon D. Weedon's Skin Pathology Second Edition. Churchill Livingstone. 2002
Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 5th Edition. McGraw-Hill. 1999.
Weiss SW and Goldblum JR. Enzinger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors. Fourth Edition. Mosby 2001.

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Last Updated September 7, 2004

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