True vocal cords

Last revised by Dr Yahya Baba on 24 Nov 2020

The true vocal cords are the thickened, free edge of the cricovocal membrane, the cricovocal ligament, lined by mucous membrane 1. Together they form part of the glottis, the V-shaped aperture through which air passes. Their primary role is in phonation where vibration of the adducted vocal cords gives rise to sound waves with a certain pitch.  

The cricovocal membrane, also known as conus elasticus, extends upwards from a semicircular base following the contours of the cricoid cartilage to form a horizontal upper border attached in the midline to thyroid cartilage and posteriorly to the vocal process of the arytenoid cartilage 1. This free edge between the thyroid laminae and the arytenoid cartilage is thickened as the cricovocal ligament 1.

Stratified squamous epithelium lines the vocal folds. The lamina propria is very firmly attached over the vocal cords.

Related pathology

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.