Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P704-707, September 2019

Does Pepsin Play a Role in Etiology of Laryngeal Nodules?



      Vocal fold nodules (VFNs) are benign disorders affecting the superficial lamina propria of the true vocal folds. The etiology of VFNs still remains unclear but laryngeal trauma caused by vocal abuse, tobacco, alcohol, and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) plays a crucial role on the pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of pepsin in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FEPE) specimens of VFNs to evaluate the role of LPR as a risk factor for VFNs.

      Materials and Methods

      A total of 28 pathology specimens of patients suffering from VFNs who had undergone laser microsurgery under general anesthesia were evaluated. The specimens were maintained in paraffin blocks in the pathology department. Western blot (WB) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analyses were used to measure pepsin enzyme levels in the VFNs tissue specimens. Signs of LPR were assessed according to the reflux finding score.


      The mean reflux finding score of the patients was 13.6 ± 2.89 (8–21). According to WB and ELISA analyses, pepsin was detected with both the WB the ELISA tests in positive controls, but there was no pepsin enzyme in any of the 28 laryngeal FEPE VFNs specimens.


      The pepsin enzyme was not detected in any of the FEPE VFNs specimens, and it is concluded that further studies are needed to reveal the role of pepsin in the etiology of VFNs.

      Key Words

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