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August 1991

Laryngeal Airway ResistanceThe Relationships of Airflow, Pressure, and Aperture

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery (Drs Templer and Davis), and the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine (Mr Quigley and Dr Scott), University of Missouri, Columbia; the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Affairs Hospital (Drs Templer and Davis); and the Division of Otolaryngology, Peramente Clinic, Oakland, Calif (Dr Von Doersten).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(8):867-870. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870200061008

• In the surgical treatment of the paralyzed larynx, a compromise often needs to be made between an orifice size needed to preserve voice and that needed for adequate inspiratory airflow rates. To assess the negative pressures needed to generate normal airflows across a narrowed vocal cord aperture, we measured pressure and flow changes across cadaveric larynges while altering aperture size. Best-fit quadratic equations for each aperture area selected were derived and showed that if the aperture were 0.5 cm2 or less, the resistance to normal breathing would be significantly increased. Aperture sizes of 0.67 cm2 or greater are not associated with such an increase in resistance.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:867-870)