Shar Pei Larynx: Supraglottic and Postcricoid Mucosal Redundancy and Its Association With Medical Comorbidities

Yin Yiu, Kathleen M. Tibbetts, C. Blake Simpson, Laura A. Matrka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe a clinical entity the authors term “Shar Pei larynx,” characterized by redundant supraglottic and postcricoid mucosa that the authors hypothesize coexists in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, laryngopharyngeal reflux, and obesity. By exploring this hypothesis, the authors hope to set the foundation for future research with the goal of identifying whether Shar Pei larynx is a marker for untreated sleep apnea or other diseases. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Two tertiary care academic institutions. Methods: Data were collected from a 5-year period by querying for patients described to have “Shar Pei larynx” or “posterior supraglottic and/or postcricoid mucosal redundancy” on laryngoscopic findings. Relevant demographic and clinical characteristics were analyzed, with a focus on associations with obesity, sleep apnea, and laryngopharyngeal reflux. Results: Thirty-two patients were identified with physical findings consistent with Shar Pei larynx. Twenty-six patients (81.3%) were obese; 16 (50%) were morbidly obese. Twenty-two patients (68.8%) either had an existing diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea or were diagnosed on polysomnography performed after initial evaluation. Sixteen patients (50%) had type 2 diabetes mellitus, and 87.5% of these patients were obese. Twenty-eight patients (87.5%) noted histories of reflux, with a median reflux symptom index of 27 of 45. Five patients underwent procedures to reduce mucosal redundancy related to Shar Pei larynx. Conclusions: This pilot study confirms that the majority of patients diagnosed with Shar Pei larynx also had diagnoses of obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and reflux disease. The demonstrated association is strong enough to warrant further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Shar Pei larynx
  • laryngeal findings in obesity
  • laryngeal findings in sleep apnea
  • mucosal changes in obesity
  • mucosal changes in sleep apnea
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • pharyngeal findings in obesity
  • pharyngeal findings in sleep apnea
  • reflux findings
  • reflux findings score
  • reflux symptom index
  • severe interarytenoid edema
  • severe postcricoid redundancy
  • supraglottic and postcricoid mucosal redundancy
  • upper airway fat deposition and mucosal changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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