Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Dysphonia Anatomy

To better understand a hoarse voice, it helps to understand the anatomy of the larynx.

The larynx is part of the upper airway. It begins at the lower pharynx, and extends down to the trachea.

Functions of the larynx include:

  • Maintain an open airway
  • Produce the voice
  • Protect the lungs

The larynx consists of:
  • Epiglottis
  • Vocal cords
  • Subglottic area
  • Thyroid cartilage

Larynx examples:
  • Rear view of larynx
  • Top view of epiglottis with x-ray of enlarged epiglottis
  • Normal pharynx in adult
  • Normal pharynx and epiglottis in child

Last Updated: Nov 7, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Dysphonia References
  1. Hastriter EV, Olsson JM. In brief: hoarseness. Pediatr Rev. 2006 Jun;27(6):e47-8. [16740802]
  2. Klassen TP. Recent advances in the treatment of bronchiolitis and laryngitis. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1997 Feb;44(1):249-61. [9057793]
  3. Noordzij JP, Khidr A, Evans BA, Desper E, Mittal RK, Reibel JF, Levine PA. Evaluation of omeprazole in the treatment of reflux laryngitis: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study. Laryngoscope. 2001 Dec;111(12):2147-51. [11802014]
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