Does Reinke’s Edema Grade Determine Premalignant Potential?

Raluca Tavaluc, Howard Herman, Juan Lin, Melin Tan-Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Reinke’s edema (RE) is a benign disease of the vocal folds with a wide spectrum of clinical severity. We aim to evaluate the clinical impact of RE grade and determine if RE grade correlates with severity of dysplasia and tobacco exposure. Methods: Patients with isolated RE who underwent surgical excision between December 2010 and December 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. The RE grade was determined from archived laryngeal videostroboscopy exams. Pathologic severity of dysplasia, categorized by squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (SIN) classification, and tobacco history were extracted from medical records. Results: Of 95 lesions, 3 (3.16%) were RE grade 1, 33 (34.74%) were RE grade 2, 24 (25.26%) were RE grade 3, and 35 (36.84%) were RE grade 4. Fifty-nine lesions (62.11%) had no dysplasia (SIN0), 19 (20.00%) had mild dysplasia (SIN1), 15 (15.79%) had moderate dysplasia (SIN 2), and 2 (2.11%) had severe dysplasia (SIN3). The 2 patients with severe dysplasia had grade 4 lesions. No statistical correlation was identified between RE grade and the severity of dysplasia. Furthermore, no statistical correlation was seen between tobacco exposure and the severity of dysplasia or the RE grade. Conclusions: Size of RE lesion does not reflect premalignancy. The majority of RE lesions, regardless of size, have little to no premalignant potential. Severe dysplasia/carcinoma in situ may be more likely seen in grade 4 lesions; however, the paucity of severe dysplasia published in RE data and in this cohort preclude any formal inference. Further study of grade 4 lesions is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-816
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • dysplasia
  • grading
  • larynx and tobacco exposure
  • Reinke’s edema
  • vocal folds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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