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March 1994

Aerodynamic and Temporal Disruptions of Speech in Laryngeal Insufficiency

Author Affiliations

From the Speech Research Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif (Drs Till and Jafari), and the Speech and Voice Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Till, Crumley, and Jafari), University of California, Irvine. Ms Law-Till is in private practice in Los Angeles, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(3):317-325. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880270063011

Objectives:  To describe the effects of laryngeal insufficiency on aerodynamic and temporal aspects of speech breathing and speech production.

Design:  A survey study with statistical comparisons of patient and normal subject groups.

Setting:  Private and institutional practice.

Patients:  A convenience sample of 23 subjects with laryngeal insufficiency was compared with a volunteer sample of 20 normal-speaking subjects. Patients had frank unilateral recurrent nerve paralysis-paresis or idiopathic laryngeal insufficiency as verified by videostrobolaryngoscopy.

Main Measures:  Mean airflows, air volumes, and durations for speech inspirations, speech phrases, and noninspiratory pauses during samples of monologue speech.

Results:  In comparison with the normal group, the patient group had significantly (P<.01) higher expiratory airflows and volumes during speech and reduced speech phrase durations. In addition, breaths per minute, inspiratory minute volume, and inspiratory airflow were significantly (P<.01) higher for the patient group. An experimental measure of aerodynamic yield for speech increased the statistical separation of the patient and normal groups compared with analyses using simple expiratory airflow measures alone.

Conclusions:  Insufficient contact of the true vocal folds during speech can affect more than just voice quality. Likely effects include (1) reduced speech phrase duration, (2) increased breaths per minute, (3) increased inspiratory minute volume, and (4) increased inspiratory airflow rate.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:317-325)

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