Several types of neoplastic change with different prognostic implications typically involve the laryngeal squamous epithelium. The purpose of this review is to examine the spectrum of these changes, as well as their relationship to benign squamous epithelial proliferative states. Since these pathological changes are apt to occur in regions where the epithelial lining is typically squamous, it is important to recognize that the epithelium of the larynx varies from stratified squamous to respiratory-type, depending on the location. The lingual (anterior) surface of the epiglottis is lined by a stratified squamous type, while the laryngeal (posterior) surface is stratified squamous merging into respiratory-type. In the larynx, the supraglottic and infraglottic portions are a respiratory-type, which contrasts with the stratified squamous epithelium of the glottis. This typical distribution does show some degree of variability in those patches of squamous epithelium and is frequently seen within the respiratory-type epithelial regions. The junction between the two epithelial types may be abrupt or separated by a transitional zone.
- Carcinoma in situ
- Squamous cell carcinoma