Although laryngeal tuberculosis is not frequent, it still occurs with an increasing incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis. Clinical pattern and spread mechanism of this disease have also changed as well. This study was performed to examine the current propensity seen in laryngeal tuberculosis and the clinical characteristics of this disease in patients showing atypical clinical pattern. The medical and videostroboscopic records of 60 patients with laryngeal tuberculosis diagnosed from the year 1994 to 2004 at the department of otorhinolaryngology in Severance Hospital were analyzed. The age of the patients ranged from 25 to 78 years, with their average age being 49.7 years. The ratio between men and women was 1.9:1. The major symptom encountered was hoarseness (96.6%). Clinically, granulomatous (n=22) and ulcerative types (n=11) of laryngeal tuberculosis were still prevalent, however, the incidence of atypical types such as polypoid (n=16) and nonspecific (n=11) were on the rise. Among the 27 cases that showed polypoid or nonspecific types, unilateral lesion was seen in 20 cases (74%). The most frequently affected area by this disease was true vocal cord, followed by false vocal cord, epiglottis, arytenoids and posterior commissure. Active pulmonary tuberculosis was present in 28 (46.7%), inactive pulmonary tuberculosis in 20 (33.3%), normal lung status in 12 cases (20%). Primary laryngeal tuberculosis was present in 9 cases (15%). Single lesion, polypoid and nonspecific type were prevalent in patients with inactive tuberculosis or normal lungs status. Physicians should be aware of the changes in the clinical pattern of laryngeal tuberculosis, which poses serious complications and risk of spreading.
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