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Med Image Anal. 2007 Aug;11(4):400-13. Epub 2007 Apr 29.

Clinically evaluated procedure for the reconstruction of vocal fold vibrations from endoscopic digital high-speed videos.

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Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Bohlenplatz 21, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.


Investigation of voice disorders requires the examination of vocal fold vibrations. State of the art is the recording of endoscopic high-speed movies which capture vocal fold vibrations in real-time. It enables investigating the interrelation between disturbances of vocal fold vibrations and voice disorders. However, the lack of clinical studies and of a standardized procedure to reconstruct vocal fold vibrations from high-speed videos constrain the clinical acceptance of the high-speed technique. An image processing approach is presented that extracts the vibrating vocal fold edges from digital high-speed movies. The initial segmentation is principally based on a seeded region-growing algorithm. Even in movies with low image quality the algorithm segments successfully the glottal area by an introduced two-dimensional threshold matrix. Following segmentation, the vocal fold edges are reconstructed from the computed time-varying glottal area. The performance of the procedure was objectively evaluated within a study comprising 372 high-speed recordings. The accuracy of vocal fold reconstruction exceeds manual segmentation results obtained by clinical experts. The algorithm reaches an information flow-rate of up to 98 images per second. The robustness and high accuracy of the procedure makes it suitable for the application in clinical routine. It enables an objective and highly accurate description of vocal fold vibrations which is essential to realize extensive clinical studies which focus on the classification of voice disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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