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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2011 Oct;120(10):669-73.

Effect of altered core body temperature on glottal closing force.

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Section of Otolaryngology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



A basic function of the larynx is to provide sphincteric protection of the lower airway, initiated by a brain stem-mediated glottal closure reflex. Glottal closing force is defined as the measured pressure generated between the vocal folds during glottal closure. One of the factors thought to affect the glottal closure reflex is a variation in core body temperature.


Four adult male Yorkshire pigs were used in this study. The subjects were studied under control conditions (37 degreesC), hyperthermic conditions (38 degrees C to 41 degrees C), and hypothermic conditions (36 degrees C to 34 degrees C).


We demonstrated that the glottal closing force increased significantly with an increase in core body temperature and also decreased significantly with decreased core body temperature. These results are supported by neurophysiological changes demonstrated by other studies in pups and adult dogs in response to altered core body temperatures. The mechanism for these responses is thought to reside centrally, rather than in the peripheral nervous system.


We hope that a better understanding of these aspects of glottal closure will alter the care of many patients with postanesthesia hypothermia and many sedated inmates and will also further enhance preventive measures needed to decrease the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome in overheated or febrile infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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