Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 11, P1991-1994, November 2012

Acoustic Voice Analysis Does Not Identify Presence of Penetration/Aspiration as Confirmed by Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study


      Chang H-Y, Torng P-C, Wang T-G, Chang Y-C. Acoustic voice analysis does not identify presence of penetration/aspiration as confirmed by videofluoroscopic swallowing study.


      To investigate whether acoustic voice analysis can identify the presence of penetration/aspiration (P/A) as confirmed by videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).


      Repeated measures within subjects.


      Rehabilitation department in a tertiary teaching hospital.


      Patients (N=44) with swallowing disorders referred for VFSS.


      Patients were asked to sustain phonations /a/ for at least 3 seconds before and after swallowing 5mL of liquid barium during a standardized VFSS. The acoustic voice analysis program was used to analyze vocal quality change.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Five acoustic parameters including average fundamental frequency, relative average perturbation, shimmer percentage, noise-to-harmonic ratio, and voice turbulence index were analyzed for each participant before and after swallowing during VFSS. Differences in the pre- and postmeasures were compared between those participants who demonstrated VFSS-confirmed P/A (n=17) and those who did not (n=27).


      No significant changes were noted in the 5 acoustic parameters in or between P/A and nonpenetration/aspiration groups (P>.05).


      As used in this study, acoustic voice analysis does not identify the presence of P/A confirmed by VFSS.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      F0 (average fundamental frequency), ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), NHR (noise-to-harmonic ratio), P/A (penetration/aspiration), RAP (relative average perturbation), SHIM (shimmer percentage), VFSS (videofluoroscopic swallowing study), VTI (voice turbulence index)
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