Type of disease: Rare conditions
A laryngeal cleft is a rare abnormality of the separation between the larynx, or voice box, and the esophagus. Normally, when the larynx develops, it is completely separate from the esophagus so swallowed foods go directly into the stomach. When a laryngeal cleft occurs, there is an opening between the larynx and the esophagus so food and liquid can pass through the larynx into the lungs. There are several different types of laryngeal clefts (Types I through IV), classified based on the extent of the clefting. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.