The history of horizontal glottectomy

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Feb;267(2):255-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-009-1047-z. Epub 2009 Jul 17.


The history of horizontal glottectomy (HG) for the treatment of bilateral vocal cord lesions is not entirely clear. The present investigation analyzes the history of HG on the basis of cross-referenced database searches in general and professional medical literature databases. Books, original historical articles and medical history reviews were evaluated. The initial work was done by Moser in years from 1959 to 1965, and in 1961 he published the first paper on HG. Follow-up publications were reported in 1977 by Gramowski and in 1984 by Wilke. In 1970, Romanian laryngologists headed by Calaraşu described a HG via excision of a rhomboid-shaped portion of the thyroid cartilage, but the authors had neither sufficient numbers of patients nor a sufficiently long follow-up for the procedure to gain widespread acceptance. In 1978, Calearo and Teatini described HG similar to Calaraşu's method, but slightly more extended by the eventual inclusion of an arytenoid cartilage in the operative specimen. Theses authors have often been credited as the originators of the procedure, but actually were the first to publish in an English language journal. The procedure, while quite effective for treatment of bilateral and anterior commissure lesions, has never gained general acceptance in the United States, and in current practice, has been supplanted by endoscopic and non-surgical treatments.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Glottis / surgery*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Diseases / history*
  • Laryngeal Diseases / surgery
  • Laryngectomy / history*
  • Laryngectomy / methods