• Prevalence;
  • voice disorders;
  • dysphonia;
  • laryngeal pathology;
  • stroboscopy



This article describes the prevalence of laryngeal pathology in a treatment-seeking population with dysphonia in the Flemish part of Belgium.

Study Design.

Retrospective investigation.


During a period of 5 years (2004–2008), data were collected from 882 patients who consulted with dysphonia at the ear, nose, and throat department of the University Hospital in Ghent (Belgium). Laryngeal pathology was diagnosed using videostroboscopy. Ages ranged from 4 years to 90 years.


Functional voice disorders were most frequently diagnosed (30%), followed by vocal fold nodule (15%), and pharyngolaryngeal reflux (9%). The role of age, gender, and occupation was investigated. Pathologies were significantly more common in females than in males, representing 63.8% and 36.2% of the population, respectively. Professional voice users accounted for 41% of the workforce population, with teachers as main subgroup. In professional voice users, functional dysphonia occurred in 41%, vocal fold nodules in 15%, and pharyngolaryngeal reflux in 11%. Our data were compared with data from other countries.


Functional voice disorders were overall the most common cause of voice disorders (except in childhood), followed by vocal fold nodules and pharyngolaryngeal reflux. Professional voice users accounted for almost one half of the active population, with functional voice disorders as the main cause of dysphonia. Laryngoscope, 2010