Reinke's edema

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Reinke's edema
Classification and external resources
Reinke Oedem.jpg
Reinke's edema
ICD-10 J38.4
ICD-9 478.6
DiseasesDB 32572

Reinke's edema, also known as polypoid degeneration, is the swelling of the vocal folds due to fluid collection (edema) in superficial lamina propria of vocal folds (Reinke's space). It is named after Friedrich B. Reinke.[1][2]


Reinke's edema causes the vocal folds to swell giving them an uneven, sac-like appearance. They appear pale and translucent. Individuals with Reinke's Edema typically have low-pitched, husky voices, as they use false vocal folds for voice production.


Common causes of Reinke's edema include smoking, gastroesophageal reflux, hormonal changes such as hypothyroidism and chronic voice abuse.


Histopathology: biopsy of the vocal fold may be used to help in diagnosis in some cases. Histology shows oedema of the Reinke's space.


The first course of treatment is to remove the source of the irritant (e.g. smoking cessation, vocal rest, etc.). This can be effective if done soon after development of the edema. Surgery is also an option and can result in some restoration of the voice but is ineffective in complete restoration of the voice to its original state. Decortication of the vocal folds, i.e. removal of a strip of epithelium, is done first on one side and 3–4 weeks later on the other side. Speech therapy is given for proper voice production.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ synd/2653 at Who Named It?
  2. ^ F. B. Reinke. Untersuchungen über das menschliche Stimmband. Fortschritte der Medizin, München, 1895, 13: 469-478.

External links[edit]