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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2011 Nov;48(6):708-16. doi: 10.1597/09-161. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Speech and magnetic resonance imaging results following autologous fat transplantation to the velopharynx in patients with velopharyngeal insufficiency.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To measure velopharyngeal closure with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to evaluate speech when treating velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) with autologous fat transplantation to the velopharynx.

PATIENTS:

Nine patients were recruited. Six patients had undergone cleft palate repair and subsequently developed VPI. Three were noncleft patients of which one had developed VPI after nasopharyngeal cancer treatment; another patient had developed VPI after combined adenotonsillectomy, and a third patient had VPI of unknown etiology.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Preoperative and 1-year postoperative MRIs were obtained during vocal rest and during phonation. Data measured were the velopharyngeal distance in the sagittal plane and the velopharyngeal gap area in the axial plane. Preoperative and 1-year postoperative audio recordings were blinded for scoring independently by three senior speech therapists.

RESULTS:

When comparing preoperative and 1-year postoperative MRI during phonation we found a significant reduction of the median velopharyngeal distance from 4 to 0 mm (p = .011), and a significant reduction of the median velopharyngeal gap area from 42 to 34 mm(2) (p = .038). Nasal turbulence improved significantly (p = .011). Hypernasality/hyponasality and audible nasal emission did not change significantly.

CONCLUSIONS:

Autologous fat transplantation to the velopharynx resulted in a significant reduction of the velopharyngeal distance and the velopharyngeal gap area during phonation, as measured by MRI. This was in accordance with a significant improvement in nasal turbulence. However, hypernasality and audible nasal emission did not change significantly and could not be correlated to the MRI findings.

PMID:
21463181
DOI:
10.1597/09-161
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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