To examine the functional effects of hyaluronan and collagen alterations in acute vocal fold scar, we injured 15 pig larynges by vocal fold mucosa stripping. At 3, 10, and 15 days after operation, we performed excised larynx experiments to measure phonation threshold pressure (PTP) and vocal economy (an acoustic output-cost ratio; OCR), and then performed hyaluronan and collagen assays. Five uninjured larynges were used as excised controls. Hyaluronan was reduced in the scarred vocal folds through 15 days of wound healing. Collagen was increased at day 15. The PTP was increased and OCR was decreased in scarred larynges, indicating decreased vocal efficiency and ease of phonation. Thus, PTP and OCR were sensitive to the biomolecular changes in acute vocal fold scar. Hyaluronan was more susceptible than collagen to acute tissue ultrastructural alterations. These findings may provide a rationale for increasing hyaluronan in acute vocal fold scar to improve postoperative vocal outcomes.
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