Objectives: Vocal nodules and polyps are two common noninfectious causes of hoarseness. Patients with persistent hoarseness often require microscopic laryngeal surgery to excise mass lesions of the larynx despite extensive voice resting and modification of voice use behavior. Helicobacter pylorihas recently been reported to present in the upper aerodigestive tract. This study applies the rapid urease test to determine the colonization of Helicobacter pylori in surgical specimens of patients with vocal nodules and polyps.
Methods: In this prospective study, 53 consecutive patients with vocal nodules (n = 20) or vocal polyps (n = 33) were investigated from November 2004 to July 2005. Microscopic laryngeal surgery was performed in all cases. Tissue specimens harvested from the larynx were analyzed using the rapid urease test.
Results: The study population consisted of 33 females and 20 males with a mean age of 43.1 ± 9.9 years. Thirteen (24.5%) of the 53 patients revealed Helicobacter pylori colonization, and all were histopathologically diagnosed with vocal polyps. The difference in incidence of Helicobacter pylori colonization between vocal nodules and vocal polyps was statistically significant (0% [0/20] vs. 39.4% [13/33], P = .001).
Conclusions:Helicobacter pylori often colonizes in the larynxes of patients with vocal polyps. These results indicate the involvement of Helicobacter pylori in vocal polyps. However, the presence of Helicobacter pylori as an etiologic factor in vocal polyps remains inconclusive.