Surface coil magnetic resonance imaging of the normal larynx

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986 Jun;112(6):616-22. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1986.03780060028003.


The use of specialized surface coils has made it possible to obtain high-signal, high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) images of the neck. We describe the normal anatomy of the larynx imaged with surface coils and a technique adapted from respiratory gating to reduce motion from swallowing and coughing. Compared with computed tomography, MR has superior discrimination of tissues that on computed tomography appear to be of similar density. The intrinsic laryngeal muscles and carotid sheath are well seen. Multiplanar imaging capability allows easy distinction of false and true cords and optimal evaluation of the preepiglottic and paralaryngeal spaces. Computed tomography is easier to perform than MR and is superior to MR in depicting the laryngeal cartilages. However, with improved technology, MR may become the imaging modality of choice in evaluation of the larynx and adjacent hypopharynx and subglottic regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors