Reinke's edema (RE) is a pathologically benign structural change of the vocal folds with a wide spectrum of clinical severity. We aim to propose and validate a clinical grading system based on size of the lesion to facilitate effective universal communication of disease severity.
Patients diagnosed with RE exclusive of other glottic pathology between December 2010 and December 2014 were included. Sixty laryngoscopy photographs were extracted from recorded archived laryngeal videostroboscopy exams, blinded and graded by four laryngologists with experience diagnosing RE.
A high degree of agreement among all four raters was demonstrated by high interclass correlation coefficients with a 95% confidence interval. Similarly, high intra-rater reliability was seen across all raters. Forty-nine (33%) lesions were grade 1. Thirty-five lesions (29.17%) were grade 2; 18 (15%) lesions were grade 3; and nine (7.5%) lesions were grade 4. Contralateral vocal fold was not graded in cases of grade 4.
This clinical grading for RE is a reliable tool for conveying severity of disease. High inter- and intra-rater reliability strongly suggest that RE similarly can be graded by different raters, and that a single rater is expected to grade RE similarly at different times.
4. Laryngoscope, 127:2310-2313, 2017.