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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996 Feb;80(2):478-85.

Relationship between velopharyngeal dimensions and palatal EMG during progressive hypercapnia.

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Charles A. Dana Research Institute and the Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory of Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


To examine the contribution of specific palatal muscles to velopharyngeal dimensions, we recorded electromyographic (EMG) activity in the levator veli palatini, the tensor veli palatini, and the palatoglossus while examining the velopharynx (VP) with videoendoscopy in eight awake normal adults. Simultaneous display of VP images and airflow provided precise timing of events. Video images and EMG signals were recorded during progressive hypercapnia. Every tenth breath was analyzed. For each selected breath, VP area, anteroposterior and lateral diameters, and EMG activity were determined at five points: beginning, middle, and end of inspiration and middle and end of expiration. VP measurements changed significantly during the respiratory cycle. Although maximum area was measured at end inspiration or middle expiration and minimum area at the beginning or end of the breath, respiratory-related changes in VP measurements and EMG activity were characterized by substantial inter- and intrasubject variability. This variability is similar to velopharyngeal behavior during nonrespiratory tasks and suggests that upper airway patency is determined by multiple factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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