Sail sign (larynx)
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At the time the article was created Francis Deng had no recorded disclosures.View Francis Deng's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Daniel J Bell had no recorded disclosures.View Daniel J Bell's current disclosures
The sail sign of the larynx refers to the axial appearance of unilateral dilatation of the laryngeal ventricle due to vocal cord/fold paralysis. It should not be confused with the several other sail signs in radiology.
Axial images at the level of the glottis show the following findings 1-3:
- anteromedial rotation of the arytenoid cartilage
- medial position of the posterior vocal cord margin
- air distension of the laryngeal ventricle
The shape of the airway medially in combination with the unilateral dilated laryngeal ventricle take the appearance of a ship's sail. The sail sign is one of the three most reliable findings to localize side of vocal cord paralysis on neck CT 4.