Angiolytic laser stripping versus CO2 laser microflap excision for vocal fold leukoplakia: Long-term disease control and voice outcomes

Jae Yol Lim, Young Min Park, Minsuk Kang, Seung Jin Lee, Kwangha Baek, Jina Na, Hong Shik Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose Vocal fold leukoplakia, white plaque on the epithelium, has the potential for malignant transformation regardless of dysplasia grade. It is treated with different laser types (CO 2 or angiolytic) and various techniques (vaporization, stripping, or excision); however, only a few studies exist regarding comparative laser surgery results. This study was conducted to investigate clinical outcomes of CO 2 versus angiolytic laser microdissection with regard to long-term disease control and voice preservation in vocal fold leukoplakia. Materials and methods Seventy patients with vocal fold leukoplakia treated by CO 2 or angiolytic laser (pulsed dye laser or potassium titanyl phosphate) were identified retrospectively. Data regarding patient characteristics, treatment details, treatment outcomes including disease control (recurrence and progression) and the Voice Handicap Index, GRBAS scale, and acoustics were evaluated. The mean follow-up duration after initial treatment was 32 ± 26 months. Results The study group comprised 14 patients who underwent CO 2 laser microflap excision and 56 who underwent angiolytic laser stripping. Of the patients treated with CO 2 laser, 11 (79%) had no recurrence and three (21%) showed recurrent leukoplakia, of which one patient (7%) showed histologic grade progression. Of patients who underwent angiolytic laser stripping, 12 had disease recurrence (21%), among whom three (5%) showed disease progression. Laser surgery type, disease extent, and histologic grade showed no significant differences in recurrence or progression rates. The postoperative Voice Handicap Index significantly improved (P = .03) and the G score significantly decreased (P < .001) in the angiolytic laser treatment group. In contrast, the Voice Handicap Index increased postoperatively in the CO 2 laser group (P = .046). Conclusions The long-term recurrence or progression rates were not significantly different between angiolytic and CO 2 laser treatment. The angiolytic laser stripping group showed better voice preservation compared with the CO 2 laser group. Angiolytic laser stripping is suggested as an effective treatment option for vocal fold leukoplakia with comparable disease control and better voice preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0209691
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Lim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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