The inspiratory maneuver: A simple method to assess the superficial lamina propria during endoscopy
We describe a simple means of assessing the condition of the superficial lamina propria during endoscopy, which we use in our practice as an adjunct to careful stroboscopic examination. An intake of breath against partially adducted vocal folds serves to draw the mucosa inferomedially into the glottis, which reveals areas of diminished mobility, the relationship of mucosal lesions to deeper tissues of the vocal folds, and subtle submucosal lesions. This is possible because of the unique geometry of the glottis that renders the vector forces of airflow different at inspiration and expiration. Because the integrity of the superficial lamina propria is essential to healthy phonation, we have found the inspiratory maneuver useful across a wide variety of mucosal pathologic conditions.