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Laryngeal cleft

Other Names for this Disease
  • Anterior submucous laryngeal cleft (subtype)
  • Cleft, larynx posterior
  • Congenital laryngeal clefts (subtype)
  • Posterior laryngeal cleft (PLC)
  • Type 1A (minor laryngeal cleft)
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laryngeal cleft is a rare abnormality of the separation between the larynx, or voice box, and the esophagus.[1][2] Normally, when the larynx develops, it is completely separate from the esophagus so swallowed foods go directly into the stomach. When a laryngeal cleft occurs, there is an opening between the larynx and the esophagus so food and liquid can pass through the larynx into the lungs.[1] There are several different types of laryngeal clefts (Types I through IV), classified based on the extent of the clefting.[3][4]
Last updated: 9/1/2011


  1. Laryngeal Cleft. Children's Hospital Boston. Accessed 8/30/2011.
  2. Pezzettigotta SM, Leboulanger N, Roger G, Denoyelle F, Garabedian EN. Laryngeal Cleft. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2008; 41:913-933. Accessed 8/30/2011.
  3. Tewfik TL, Karsan N, Laberge JM. Congenital Malformations of the Esophagus. eMedicine. 2010; Accessed 8/30/2011.
  4. Rahbar R, Rouillon I, Roger G, Lin A, Nuss RC, Denoyelle F, McGill TJ, Healy GB, Garabedian EN. The Presentation and Management of Laryngeal Cleft. Archives of Ololaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. 2006; 132:1335-1341. Accessed 8/30/2011.
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