Objectives. The human female voice changes in quality during the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy and menopause. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are as yet not known. The aim of this study, therefore, was to evaluate the existence of estrogen receptors (ERs) and progesterone receptors (PRs) in the human vocal fold. Material and Methods. Biopsies of benign vocal fold lesions from 37 female patients were obtained during surgery. Immunohistochemistry for expression of ERs and PRs was performed and evaluated on a semiquantitative scale by two independent pathologists. Results. In series 1, immunohistochemical staining showed six sections positive for ER and three sections for PR. One section had positive staining for both receptors. In series 2, immunohistochemical staining showed 10 of the 15 edema biopsies were positive for ER and six for PR. Six biopsies expressed both receptors. Four of the 10 laryngocele biopsies were positive for ER and two for PR. One was positive for both receptors. Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that ERs and PRs are expressed in the larynx of the female human vocal fold in conjunction with edema. The function of these receptors has to be elucidated in future studies.
- Vocal folds
- Laryngeal edema