The triticeous cartilage - redefining of morphology, prevalence and function
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Background: Triticeous cartilage is a small cartilaginous component of the laryngeal skeleton. This cartilage, located in posterior end of the thyrohyoid ligament, presents in different shapes. Radiological studies indicate clinical and anatomical importance of the triticeous cartilage but these studies have limited information due to inadequate inspection method. Computed tomographic angiography is able to evaluate the triticeous cartilage with using three-dimensional images in more detail. The aim of this study is to describe prevalence and morphological properties of the triticeous cartilage. Materials and methods: We examined computed tomographic angiography images of 746 patients (368 women, 378 men) retrospectively. Shapes, calcification degrees, volumes, lengths and wideness of the triticeous cartilage were evaluated by OsiriX-Lite software. Results: According to our results, triticeous cartilage presents common in the examined population (68.1%). The prevalence of the triticeous cartilage was higher in men than in women. We also found that the degree of calcification was not related with age and gender. Conclusions: Clinical importance of the triticeous cartilage is that it could be misdiagnosed with atherosclerosis in common carotid artery because the triticeous cartilage is located almost at same level as the bifurcation of the common carotid artery. Therefore, clinicians should be aware about the triticeous cartilage.