Radiological assessment of post laryngectomy speech.

Laryngectomy for carcinoma of the larynx has a five year survival rate of approximately 80% but the operation has a high morbidity as most patients do not develop effective alaryngeal speech. The published literature states that poor speech is occasionally due to anatomical or physiological problems in the reconstructed pharynx but is usually due to psychological, sociological or educational difficulties. We devised a radiological technique using a combination of video-fluoroscopy and static or spot films to assess the anatomy and function of the reconstructed pharynx of post-laryngectomy patients, and investigated 24 good and 134 poor or failed speakers. We examined the pharynx during the acts of swallowing, attempted phonation and attempted phonation with air insufflation. A single vibrating segment (P-E segment) in an otherwise dilated pharynx was present in all good speakers, but was absent in poor or failed speakers whom we classified as hypotonic (19), hypertonic (40), spastic (62) and strictured (13) according to the radiological appearances. This classification has been used to plan subsequent clinical management and 46 of the 55 patients treated to date (84%) have developed effective alaryngeal speech.
AuthorsJ McIvor, P F Evans, A Perry, A D Cheesman
JournalClinical radiology (Clin Radiol) Vol. 41 Issue 5 Pg. 312-6 (May 1990) ISSN: 0009-9260 [Print] England
PMID2354596 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Deglutition
  • Humans
  • Insufflation
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms (physiopathology, surgery)
  • Laryngectomy
  • Larynx (diagnostic imaging, physiopathology)
  • Phonation
  • Postoperative Complications (diagnostic imaging)
  • Postoperative Period
  • Radiography
  • Speech, Alaryngeal
  • Speech, Esophageal

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