Laryngeal cyst

Laryngeal cyst
Classification and external resources
eMedicine article/837630 article/866019

Laryngeal cysts are cysts involving the larynx or more frequently supraglottic locations, such as epiglottis and vallecula.[1] Usually they do not extend to the thyroid cartilage.[2] They may be present congenitally[3] or may develop eventually due to degenerative cause.[4] They often interfere with phonation.


There are three types of laryngeal cysts, namely, mucous, hemorrhagic and congenital.[5] However, a new classification system for congenital laryngeal cysts on the basis of the extent of the cyst and the embryologic tissue of origin, is proposed for the ease of initial surgical management.[6]

Clinical presentation

Hoarseness is the most common presenting symptom, while pain, stridor or laryngeal obstruction are unusual complaints.[7] They may cause significant respiratory obstruction leading to dyspnoea or respiratory distress[3] and even cyanosis, and jugular and epigastric retractions.[1] Congenital lesions may present with severe airway obstruction at birth calling for emergency intervention and intubation.[1]


Treatment can be medical or surgical.[8] Laser endoscopic treatment is often preferred.[9] Voice therapy is sometimes necessary.


Congenital cysts of the larynx with incidence of about 1.8 in 100,000 newborns.[1]

Laryngeal cysts form 4% of all laryngeal tumors[5] or about 5% of benign laryngeal lesions.[10] Prevalence is about equal between the sexes.[11]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Borkó, R; Szûcs, S (November 2000). "[Congenital laryngeal cysts].". HNO (in German). 48 (11): 843–5. PMID 11139891.
  2. Burgess, LP; Yim, DW (December 1985). "Laryngeal cyst of the thyroid cartilage.". Archives of otolaryngology (Chicago, Ill. : 1960). 111 (12): 826. doi:10.1001/archotol.1985.00800140070014. PMID 4062656.
  3. 1 2 Khashu, M; Osiovich, H; Kozak, F; Pelligra, G; Hirsh, D; Smyth, J (January 2006). "Congenital epiglottic cyst presenting with severe airway obstruction at birth". Journal of Perinatology. 26 (1): 71–72. doi:10.1038/
  4. Newman, BH; Taxy, JB; Laker, HI (June 1984). "Laryngeal cysts in adults: a clinicopathologic study of 20 cases.". American journal of clinical pathology. 81 (6): 715–20. PMID 6731351.
  5. 1 2 NEW, G. B. (1 November 1942). "TREATMENT OF CYSTS OF THE LARYNX". Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 36 (5): 687–690. doi:10.1001/archotol.1942.03760050079007.
  6. Forte, V; Fuoco, G; James, A (June 2004). "A new classification system for congenital laryngeal cysts.". The Laryngoscope. 114 (6): 1123–7. doi:10.1097/00005537-200406000-00031. PMID 15179225.
  7. Salerno, G; Mignogna, C; Cavaliere, M; D'Angelo, L; Galli, V (August 2007). "Oncocytic cyst of the larynx: an unusual occurrence.". Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica. 27 (4): 212–5. PMC 2640029Freely accessible. PMID 17957853.
  8. Vocal Fold Cysts Treatment & Management at eMedicine
  9. Myssiorek, D; Persky, M (June 1989). "Laser endoscopic treatment of laryngoceles and laryngeal cysts.". Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 100 (6): 538–41. PMID 2501726.
  10. Henderson, LT; Denneny JC, 3rd; Teichgraeber, J (1984). "Airway-obstructing epiglottic cyst.". The Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology. 94 (5 Pt 1): 473–6. PMID 4051405.
  11. DeSanto, LW; Devine, KD; Weiland, LH (January 1970). "Cysts of the larynx--classification.". The Laryngoscope. 80 (1): 145–76. doi:10.1288/00005537-197001000-00013. PMID 5411821.
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