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Pharyngeal Swallowing Sound Profile Assessed after Partial and Total Laryngectomy

Recently, we described three components of a normal pharyngeal swallowing sound. The aim of the present study was to identify variations of these components using synchronized acoustic-radiological data in partially laryngectomized (PL) and totally laryngectomized (TL) patients before and after surgery. In this prospective study, from January 2003 to December 2006 we enrolled 14 patients in a PL group and 9 patients in a TL group. A fluoroscopy camera and a microphone were connected to a computer to obtain acoustic-radiological data (25 images/s). The subjects were asked to perform six deglutitions of 10 ml of barium suspension. The average durations of the sound variables were measured before and after surgery. The duration of the preoperative pharyngeal sound was 602 ms in the PL group and 562 ms in the TL group. It was significantly decreased after the TL (296 ms) and was increased after the PL (740 ms). A typical profile of the swallowing sound for each group was obtained. This study allowed us to describe the main variations of the pharyngeal swallowing sound induced by PL and TL. This noninvasive tool could be useful to assess postoperative swallowing function.

from Dysphagia