Scanning Microscopy


In ten adult guinea pigs, the microvascular architecture of the larynx was evaluated using microvascular corrosion casts and scanning electron microscopy. The vocal cords were provided with a subepithelial capillary network. The capillaries, freely anastomosing with each other, were supplied and drained via strongly undulating arteries and veins. The undulation of the latter vessels may explain their adaptability to volume changes of the larynx during phonation. The vasculature of the internal perichondrium of the thyroid cartilage was interrupted at the anterior commissure where an avascular zone was present at the origin of the vocal cords. This avascular area is common to both guinea pigs and humans and may explain the particular mode of tumor spreading, i.e., that the tumors remain unilateral for a long time. The rich vascular supply of the laryngeal mucosa prevents the organ from ischemic complications during surgical procedures. Our results show that the guinea pig may serve as a model for study of laryngeal disorders.

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