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Keywords:

  • superior laryngeal artery;
  • paraglottic space;
  • internal laryngeal nerve;
  • CO2 laser microsurgery

Abstract

Background

Bleeding within the supraglottic region can be a lethal complication after CO2 laser microsurgery. Our aim was to propose endoluminal anatomical landmarks to locate the superior laryngeal vessels resulting in a safer microsurgery.

Methods

Endoluminal dissections were made in 22 larynges without laryngeal disease.

Results

The neurovascular structures were in the superior third of a triangle defined by the vocal process, the anterior commissure, and the epiglottic attachment of the aryepiglottic fold. They overlapped in 4 different ways: pattern I (70.4%): superior laryngeal vein (SLV), superior laryngeal artery (SLA), and internal laryngeal nerve (ILN); pattern II (13.6%): SLA, SLV, ILN; pattern III (4.6%): SLV, ILN, and SLA; pattern IV (4.6%): SLA, ILN, and SLV.

Conclusion

Microsurgery in the supraglottic region may be safer if surgeons are aware of the superior third of the above-defined triangle, “danger area”, where the vascular elements of this region are located. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013