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Laryngoscope. 1991 Aug;101(8):849-54.

The role of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle in phonation: an electromyographic investigation in dogs.

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  • 1Liaoning Research Center of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Department of Otolaryngology, Third Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang.


The activity of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle during respiration has been well investigated electromyographically. Its activity during phonation, however, has not been studied systematically. We, therefore, focused our attention on the phonatory activity of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle to confirm whether it also contracts during phonation, as has been reported by some researchers. In our series of 12 adult dogs, the posterior cricoarytenoid was active in 11 dogs and inactive in one dog during phonation. Our present study also showed that the posterior cricoarytenoid activity was stronger for phonation than for inspiration in 6, stronger for inspiration than for phonation in 3, and the same for phonation and inspiration in 2 dogs. The results obtained from the present electromyographic evaluation demonstrated that the posterior cricoarytenoid is activated during phonation. The authors believe that the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle has phonatory function and that the phonatory effect of this muscle on the vocal cord may play an important role in precise glottis control.

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