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What is vallecular effacement and is it a normal finding on a cat scan?
Vallecula is a term that means depression in something. The epiglottic vallecula consists of a small mucosa lined depression (vallecula) located at the base of the tongue just between the folds of the throat on either side of the median glossoepiglottic fold. It is usually not seen by the naked eye as it is far back and deep at the root of the tongue. The function of the “depression” is to serve as a trap for saliva and occasionally food. Trapping the saliva in the vallecula prevents the swallowing reflex. At night, when a person is asleep, the vallecula traps the saliva so that the swallowing reflex is not constantly triggered. https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/21235
In medical terms, "effacement" is the thinning or obliteration of tissue or narrowing of an internal anatomical space.
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