Mucosal Wave Measurement and Visualization Techniques

  • Christopher R. Krausert
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Aleksandra E. Olszewski
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Lindsay N. Taylor
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • James S. McMurray
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Seth H. Dailey
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Jack J. Jiang
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jack J. Jiang, 1300 University Avenue, 5745 Medical Sciences Center, Madison, WI 53706.
    Affiliations
    Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin
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      Summary

      Organized vibration of the vocal folds is critical for high-quality voice production. When the vocal folds oscillate, the superficial tissue of the vocal fold is displaced in a wave-like fashion, creating the so-called “mucosal wave.” Because the mucosal wave is dependent on vocal fold structure, physical alterations of that structure cause mucosal wave abnormalities. Visualization and quantification of mucosal wave properties have become useful parameters in diagnosing and managing vocal fold pathology. Mucosal wave measurement provides information about vocal fold characteristics that cannot be determined with other assessment techniques. Here, we discuss the benefits, disadvantages, and clinical applicability of the different mucosal wave measurement techniques, such as electroglottography, photoglottography, and ultrasound and visualization techniques that include videokymography, stroboscopy, and high-speed digital imaging. The various techniques and their specific uses are reviewed with the intention of helping researchers and clinicians choose a method for a given situation and understand its limitations and its potential applications. Recent applications of these techniques for quantitative assessment demonstrate that additional research must be conducted to realize the full potential of these tools. Evaluations of existing research and recommendations for future research are given to promote both the quantitative study of the mucosal wave through accurate and standardized measurement of mucosal wave parameters and the development of reliable methods with which physicians can diagnose vocal disorders.

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