Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Larynx

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, IR, Iran.

2 Clinical Research Development Unite of Rouhani Hospital, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, IR, Iran.


The aim of the present study was to compare the videolaryngostroboscopic findings between patients with rheumatoid arthritis and vocally healthy controls.
Materials and Methods:
This case-control descriptive study was performed on 113 people, including 50 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 63 controls. The participants were subjected to videolaryngostroboscopic examinations in order to evaluate fundamental frequency, different structural vocal lesions, patterns of glottal closure, subglottal changes, supraglottis appearance, and movement patterns of the arytenoid cartilage. The obtained results were compared between the two research groups. Data analysis was performed in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 24.0. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The results revealed a statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of the complete pattern (P=0.00) and strained state of glottal closure (P=0.00), pattern of subglottal changes (χ2=25.98, df=2; P<0.001), and movement patterns of the arytenoid (χ2=21.16, df=1; P<0.001). Additionally, based on the obtained frequencies, the two groups showed significant differences regarding the normal state of the larynx (P=0.00), hypertrophy of vocal fold (P=0.007), epithelial change (P=0.007), and Reinke's edema (P=0.001). However, the videolaryngostroboscopic examination results revealed no significant difference between the two groups in terms of polyp (P=0.20), nodule (P=0.57), sulcus vocalis (P=0.08), cyst (P=0.45), and atrophy of vocal folds (P=0.45).
It seems that rheumatoid arthritis affects the patterns of arytenoids movement, some kinds of glottal closure patterns, and subglottal changes. As the results indicated, the occurrence of some laryngeal structural changes was higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than in individuals without this disorder.


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