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Laryngoscope. 1998 Dec;108(12):1773-81.

Videostroboscopy of the pharyngoesophageal segment in total laryngectomees.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The reconstructed pharyngoesophageal segment (PES) serves as the neoglottis following total laryngectomy, as it provides the source of vibration for production of tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP) voice. To date, little information exists regarding the vibratory characteristics of the PES. The purpose of this investigation was to study the anatomy and physiology of the PES using videostroboscopy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective study investigating the anatomy and physiology of the PES in 34 laryngectomees who used TEP speech as their primary form of communication.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Videostroboscopy and voice recordings were graded by three trained, blinded judges using a seven-point scale.

RESULTS:

The patients demonstrated differences that allowed for separation of patients into two main groups: "poor" and "effective" TEP speakers. The voice quality differences were explained by anatomic and physiologic characteristics of the PES. Redundant, thick, and dyssynchronous PES features were observed in patients with poor TEP speech skills; the effective speakers exhibited less redundant, thinner mucosa and more synchronous vibratory patterns. Moreover, the latter subgroup consistently demonstrated a greater degree of volitional PES control and less spasmodic activity than their poorly speaking counterparts. Length of the PES opening (measured in the horizontal plane) as well as amount and consistency of secretions did not appear to influence TEP speech or voice proficiency.

CONCLUSION:

Videostroboscopy in laryngectomees is a noninvasive, inexpensive, easily performed procedure that may contribute valuable information regarding the anatomy and physiology of the PES, especially in patients who experience difficulties achieving satisfactory TEP voice and speech production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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