Concentration of Elastic Fibers in the Lamina Propria of the Vocal Folds in the Elderly
Introduction: One of the structural changes in the lamina propria of vocal folds in the elderly is related to the concentration of elastic fibers, a major component of the extracellular matrix.
Objective: To quantify by morphometric analysis the changes in the concentration of elastic fibers-related presbyphonia.
Methods: A total of 30 vocal folds (male—15, female—15) were removed during necropsy and were allocated to three groups: one control group (n = 10) and two groups aged 60-75 (n = 10) and 76-90 years (n = 10). The vocal folds were processed and stained by Calleja. Images were photographed with the axion-vision program and morphometry performed by AVSoft BioView program, calculating the concentration of elastic fiber (in percent) in four non-overlapping fields of superficial and deep layers of the lamina propria of each vocal fold.
Results: It was observed that with advancing age, there is a decrease in the concentration of elastic fibers in both layers (deep layer—CG-23.53%; 60-75 years 20.79% and 76-90 years 21.14%; and superficial layer GC 11.06%; 60-75 years 9.36% and 76-90 years 9.18%). Regarding gender, the decrease of elastic fibers was more prevalent in females (male: deep layer—CG 22.02%; 60-75 years 20.08% and 76-90 years 21.36%; and the superficial layer—GC 10.23%; 60-75 years 9.77% and 76-90 years 9.45%; and female: deep layer—GC 25.05%; 60-75 years 21.5% and 76-90 years 20.93%; and the superficial layer—GC 11.90%; 60-75 years 8.97% and 76-90 years 8.91%).
Conclusion: There was a decrease in the concentration of elastic fibers with increasing age in both genders, mainly in women.