To analyze and compare the incidence and visual characteristics of blood vessels on the superior surface of vocal folds with polyps, nodules, and minimal structural alterations (ie, sulci, cysts, and mucosal bridges).
A total of 280 videolaryngoscopic images were randomly selected and classified into the following 4 groups of 70 patients each: the vocal nodule (VN) group, the polyp group, the minimal structural alterations (MSA) group, and the control group.
Main Outcome Measures
Laryngoscopic images were assessed for visible blood vessels and for the orientation and characteristics of the vessels. Isolated ectasias with clear boundaries were excluded.
The highest incidence of visible vessels was observed in the MSA group (91.4%), followed by the polyp (77.1%), VN (44.7%), and control (31.4%) groups. Longitudinal and transverse vessels were found more frequently in the MSA (74.3% and 37.1%) and polyp (65.7% and 22.9%) groups than in the VN (34.3% and 12.9%) and control (25.7% and 5.7%) groups. Tangled vessels were found only in the MSA group (8.6%). Abrupt changes in the caliber of the vessels and sinuous vessels were observed only in the polyp (21.4% and 5.7%) and MSA (61.4% and 27.1%) groups.
The main differences in the incidence and characteristics of visible blood vessels occurred between 2 pairs of groups: MSA-polyp and VN-control. The incidence was significantly higher in the MSA group than in the polyp group, and the incidence in both the MSA group and the polyp group was also significantly higher than that in the VN and control groups. The greatest variations were found in the MSA group, including the presence of tangled blood vessels (which was observed only in this group).