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J Voice. 2014 Sep;28(5):525-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2014.01.016. Epub 2014 May 16.

Age- and gender-related difference of vocal fold vibration and glottal configuration in normal speakers: analysis with glottal area waveform.

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Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:
Department of Otolaryngology, The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Communication Disorders, The Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Ishikari-Gun, Hokkaido, Japan.
Department of Otolaryngology and Tracheo-esophagology, The National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.



Glottal area waveform (GAW) analysis is widely used in the assessment of vocal fold vibration by high-speed digital imaging (HSDI). Because normative GAW data obtained from a large number of subjects have not been reported, we conducted a prospective study to obtain normative results for GAW analysis of HSDI findings and clarify normal variations associated with gender and age.


Vocally healthy adults were divided into a young group (aged ≤ 35 years) and an elderly group (aged ≥ 65 years). The configuration and size of the glottal area were assessed at different phases of the glottal cycle, and gender- and age-related differences were evaluated.


A total of 26 young subjects (nine men and 17 women; mean age: 27 years) and 20 elderly subjects (eight men and 12 women; mean age: 73 years) were investigated. The glottal area at different points of the glottal cycle showed a negative correlation with frequency. Although the GAW parameters of young women appeared to be different from those of the other subgroups, the differences were not statistically significant. Young women predominantly had a triangular- or vase-shaped glottal configuration at all frequencies, whereas the other subgroups showed various glottal shapes.


The present study clarified gender- and age-related differences of GAW parameters obtained with HSDI. Young women were likely to show different glottal configurations and different responses to frequency changes from those of young men, elderly men, and elderly women. Phonosurgeons should pay attention to the normal variations detected in the present study.


Glottal area waveform; High-speed digital imaging; Normal; Voice

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