Monday, January 23, 2012

Cricoarytenoid Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect any join in the body, including the joints that make up the larynx or voice box. (Click on photo below to enlarge)

2008 Trailsight Medical Media

 The cricoarytenoid joint is the joint between the cricoid and arytenoid cartilages. This joint is rotated by the vibration of the vocal cords thus changing the tone of the voice. 


While cricoarytenoid arthritis is typical in RA, (between seventeen and seventy-five percent of RA sufferers develop it) a large number of RA patients do not realize their symptoms of hoarseness, pharyngeal fulness in the throat when speaking or swallowing, pain in the ears, and shortness of breath may be directly related to laryngeal RA. Hoarseness is the most frequently noted symptom.



Emergent airway closure is not seen often but can develop in patients with CA joint involvement. Patients with persistent hoarseness, pain when swallowing, talking or coughing, shortness of breath, or a sensation of fullness in the throat should contact their physician.




  1. Oxford Journal of Rheumatology; Volume 40, Issue 5 p 593-594; Kamanli, A; Gok, U.; Sahin, S; Kygusuz, I; Ardicoglu, O; and Yalcin, S
  2. http://arthritis.about.com/od/othercond/a/cricoarytenoid_joint_utd.htm





1 comment:

  1. I deal with this almost every time a MAJOR flare hits me. In all my yrs of living w/JRA/RA I've NEVER seen the name cricoarytenoid RA. I knew it existed but not by its name. I was hoarse constantly as a kid and my ped rheumy told me it was JRA affecting my voice box. That's as far as he took it. I can be talking just fine and all of a sudden, my voice pretty much fades to a whisper. Then awhile later it comes back. Thankfully, for me it is not painful. It sounds very painful though. And people cringe for me when they hear me trying to keep talking. It was dreadfully inconvenient when I worked as a reservation clerk for a hotel. I spent 8 hrs a day on the phone. Not a good thing when all you can do is whisper. Many times when that happened, if we were not horribly busy, my manager would tell me to do paperwork, filing etc so I didn't have to talk. I dunno why I've never thought to look up the exact name. I know the resources to use. But it just never occurred to me. Thanks for answering my unasked but always in the back of my mind question!

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