Exudative Lesions of Reinke's Space: A Terminology Proposal

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jun;266(6):869-78. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0863-x. Epub 2008 Nov 21.


There has been an ongoing confusion among pathologists in their attempt to accurately identify lesions of Reinke's space. Nodules, polyps and Reinke's edema fall in the same basket and differentiation between them relies largely on the clinical description of the pathologic specimen by the operating surgeon than on their distinct pathologic features. By revising the pertinent literature, the need for an establishment of the aforementioned term still remains and is further stressed out, as confusion among the various pathologic descriptions of these lesions still exists. This is further verified by a study conducted in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery of the University Hospital of Louvain at Mont-Godinne, Belgium, involving 323 operative specimens obtained from 200 patients with macroscopic picture. Statistical analysis showed lack of agreement between surgical and histopathologic diagnosis in almost a third of the cases (Cohen's kappa coefficient of 0.683 +/- 0.037, P < 0.001). We, therefore, propose the term "exudative lesions of Reinke's space" to include Reinke's edema, polyps and nodules. These lesions share common histologic features, which are located in the Reinke's space and whose macroscopic appearance is largely dependent upon the presence and duration of certain causative factors.

MeSH terms

  • Exudates and Transudates*
  • Female
  • Fibrin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / pathology*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / surgery
  • Laryngeal Edema / pathology
  • Laryngeal Edema / surgery
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Laser Therapy
  • Male
  • Polyps / pathology
  • Polyps / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Vocal Cords / pathology
  • Vocal Cords / surgery


  • Fibrin