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J Commun Disord. 2012 Jul-Aug;45(4):304-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Mar 17.

Vocal fold mucus aggregation in persons with voice disorders.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health Sciences and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. bonilhah@musc.edu

Abstract

Mucus aggregation on the vocal folds is a common finding from laryngeal endoscopy. Patients with voice disorders report the presence of mucus aggregation. Patients also report that mucus aggregation causes them to clear their throat, a behavior believed to be harmful to vocal fold mucosa. Even though clinicians and patients report and discuss mucus aggregation, we have a limited understanding of mucus aggregation in persons with voice disorders. The primary goal of this study was to provide an initial assessment of the presence and features of mucus aggregation in persons with voice disorders. The secondary goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in mucus aggregation between persons with and without voice disorders. To address these goals, four features of mucus aggregation were judged from laryngeal endoscopy recordings from 54 speakers with voice disorders and compared to judgments of these same features in persons without voice disorders. The results from this study showed: (1) 100% of dysphonic speakers had visible mucus aggregation on their vocal folds. (2) Persons with hyperfunctional voice disorders had different mucus characteristics than persons with hypofunctional voice disorders (p=0.002). (3) Dysphonic speakers did not differ in frequency of mucus identified on the vocal folds than non-dysphonic speakers. However, the two groups had different mucus characteristics (p=0.001). Future studies are warranted to determine if these differences in mucus aggregation between persons with and without voice disorders relate to specific aspects of laryngeal pathology or patient characteristics, such as age and gender. Once we understand these relationships, we may be able to use this information to improve our diagnosis and treatment of patients with atypical laryngeal mucus aggregation.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Readers will be able to: (1) describe why mucus aggregation may be an important feature to understand in persons with voice disorders, (2) describe the features of mucus aggregation that can be visually rated, and (3) explain the similarities and differences in mucus aggregation for persons with and without voice disorders.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22510352
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3367063
Free PMC Article

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