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Original Article
May 2006

The Effect of Acute Xerostomia on Vocal Function

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul (Dr Roh), and Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Cancer Research Institute, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Taejon (Drs H. S. Kim and A.-Y. Kim), South Korea.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;132(5):542-546. doi:10.1001/archotol.132.5.542

Objective  To evaluate whether xerostomia can affect vocal function in an experimental model.

Design  Randomized controlled study.

Setting  Academic center.

Subjects  Twenty healthy young men.

Interventions  Glycopyrrolate was administered to induce acute xerostomia in 10 men, and saline was administered to 10 men who served as controls.

Main Outcome Measures  Whole salivary flow rate and dry mouth scale were time-serially measured, and subjective and objective vocal functions were checked before and after treatment. The salivary and vocal functions were compared between groups.

Results  Significant salivary hypofunction and symptoms developed within 90 minutes after the administration of glycopyrrolate. Vocal effort and phonation threshold pressure significantly increased (P<.005) and voice range profiles decreased in the xerostomia group (P = .003) but not in the control group. Other voice parameters were comparable between groups (P>.05). High correlations were also found between salivary and vocal parameters.

Conclusion  Our findings suggest that vocal function can be affected by xerostomia.