by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
May 12, 2022

What is the larynx?

The larynx is an organ on the inside of the neck that helps air move between the nose and mouth and the lungs. The larynx is also responsible for creating sound.

What types of cells are found on the inside of the larynx?

Most of the larynx is a hollow tube filled with air. The larynx helps us breathe and create sound when we talk. For this reason, diseases involving the larynx often make it difficult to breathe or talk normally. The inside surface of the larynx is lined by specialized cells called squamous cells. These cells form a barrier called the epithelium. The tissue below the epithelium is called the stroma.

normal squamous mucosa larynx

What are the different parts of the larynx?

The larynx is divided into three parts called the supraglottis, glottis, and subglottis. Most pathology reports will describe the sections or parts of the larynx examined.


The supraglottis is the first section of the larynx. The supraglottic larynx is made up of several smaller parts including the epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids, false vocal cords, and ventricle.


The glottis is the second section and it is in the middle of the larynx. The glottis is made up of several smaller parts including the true vocal cords, posterior commissure, and anterior commissure.


The subglottis is the third and last section of the larynx. Unlike the other sections of the larynx, the subglottis is not made up of many smaller parts. The subglottic larynx connects with the trachea (windpipe).

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