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Vocal Cords (Vocal Folds) & Vestibular Folds of the Larynx

  • Projecting into the lumen of the larynx are  image descriptiontwo pairs  of soft tissue folds.
  • Each fold image descriptionextends from the back of the thyroid cartilage to the front of the arytenoid cartilage.
  • The inferior set of folds are called the image descriptionvocal folds or vocal cords (= true vocal folds).
Midsagittal View of Larynx
Midsagittal View of Larynx with the vocal cord labeled
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  • A narrow image descriptionvocal ligament is embedded in each vocal fold. These elongated bands of elastic tissue vibrate to produce voice sounds (= phonation).
Posterior and Midsagittal View of Larynx
Posterior and Midsagittal View of Larynx and vocal ligament labeled
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  • Unlike the rest of the larynx, the surfaces of the vocal folds are covered by a protective layer of stratified squamous epithelium.
  • Superior to the vocal folds are the  image descriptionvestibular folds  (= false folds or ventricular folds).
Midsagittal View of Larynx
Vestibular Fold
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  • Each vestibular fold is formed by a thick layer of mucous membrane (= respiratory membrane) and a supportive image descriptionvestibular ligament.
Posterior and Midsagittal View of Larynx
Posterior and Midsagittal View of Larynx
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  • The vestibular folds are not directly involved in the process of voice production.
  • Instead, they lubricate the vocal folds with mucous sections and help prevent food from entering the lower respiratory tract organs.

An Overview of Vocal Cord Anatomy:

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Test yourself by observing Vocal Cord Anatomy
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