Variations of the vocal fold epithelium in a menopause induced model [variaciones del epitelio del pliegue vocal en un modelo de menopausia inducida]
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During menopause, changes occur in the laryngeal structures that have implications for the voice. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of induced menopause on the morphological parameters of the vocal fold mucosa in rats. Ten adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were used as samples and divided into two groups: 5 were surgically oophorectomized (OVX), and 5 underwent a surgical procedure similar to oophorectomy but without removal of the ovaries (SHAM). After 30 days surgery, the characteristics of the epithelium that forms the vocal fold mucosa in terms of cellular arrangement and organization of the epithelium were observed. Through the Morphometrics XS software, the epithelial height and the number and density of cellular layers were determined. Our results indicate that there were alterations in the number of cell layers that constitute the epithelium, as well as features, such as cellular cohesion and increased extracellular matrix. The number of cell layers was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in the SHAM group with 6.66 (SD 1.07), whereas in the OVX was 3.2 (SD 0.83). The average thickness of the epithelium was 534.71 mm (SD 119.89), whereas in the SHAM group was 486.84 mm (SD 82.95); these differences were not statistically significant (p = 0.112). Changes in the characteristics of the epithelium covering the vocal folds can be related to clinical abnormalities, such as reduced voice quality and degeneration of the vocal folds in postmenopausal women.
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