High-resolution magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry imaging of the human larynx

Ayami Ohno Kishimoto, Yo Kishimoto, Xudong Shi, Elizabeth B. Hutchinson, Hua Zhang, Yatao Shi, Gisele Oliveira, Lingjun Li, Nathan V. Welham, Ian J. Rowland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


High-resolution, noninvasive and nondestructive imaging of the subepithelial structures of the larynx would enhance microanatomic tissue assessment and clinical decision making; similarly, in situ molecular profiling of laryngeal tissue would enhance biomarker discovery and pathology readout. Towards these goals, we assessed the capabilities of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) imaging of rarely reported paediatric and adult cadaveric larynges that contained pathologies. The donors were a 13-month-old male, a 10-year-old female with an infraglottic mucus retention cyst and a 74-year-old female with advanced polypoid degeneration and a mucus retention cyst. MR and molecular imaging data were corroborated using whole-organ histology. Our MR protocols imaged the larynges at 45–117 μm2 in-plane resolution and capably resolved microanatomic structures that have not been previously reported radiographically—such as the vocal fold superficial lamina propria, vocal ligament and macula flavae; age-related tissue features—such as intramuscular fat deposition and cartilage ossification; and the lesions. Diffusion tensor imaging characterised differences in water diffusivity, primary tissue fibre orientation, and fractional anisotropy between the intrinsic laryngeal muscles, mucosae and lesions. MALDI-MS imaging revealed peptide signatures and putative protein assignments for the polypoid degeneration lesion and the N-glycan constituents of one mucus retention cyst. These imaging approaches have immediate application in experimental research and, with ongoing technology development, potential for future clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-556
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Reinke's oedema
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • glycomics
  • molecular imaging
  • mucus retention cyst
  • polypoid degeneration
  • proteomics
  • vocal fold
  • whole-larynx histology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry imaging of the human larynx'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this