Normal human vocal cords and surgically removed Reinke's oedema were studied by light and electron microscopy. The Reinke's space between the lamina propria and vocal ligament was filled with loose connective tissue sheets, which seemed to be an organic part of the vocal ligament. The structure suggested the possibility of the lamellae moving on each other. This could be important for the vibratory function of vocal cords. Inside the lamellae, masses of inmature young elastic fibres were found. Reinke's oedema develops in the superficial elastic sheets. Therefore in the case of surgical intervention the specially structured rubbery elastic vocal cord mucosa must be removed, which is essential to perfect vibratory function.
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