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Three-dimensional Vocal Tract Morphology Based on Multiple Magnetic Resonance Images Is Highly Reproducible During Sustained Phonation

  • Alexander Mainka
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Alexander Mainka, Division of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

    Voice Research Laboratory, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden, Germany
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  • Ivan Platzek
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Willy Mattheus
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

    Voice Research Laboratory, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden, Germany
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  • Mario Fleischer
    Affiliations
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Ann-Sophie Müller
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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  • Dirk Mürbe
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

    Voice Research Laboratory, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden, Germany
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Published:December 14, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.11.009

      Summary

      Objectives

      The extraction of a three-dimensional (3D) morphology of the human vocal tract (VT) from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during sustained phonation can be used for various analyses like numerical simulations or creating physical models. The precision of visualizing techniques nowadays allows for very targeted acoustical simulation evaluating the influence of subsections of the VT for the transfer function. The aim of the study was to assess the accuracy of the 3D geometry based on MRI data in repetitive trials.

      Study Design

      This is a prospective study.

      Methods

      Four experienced singers underwent an MRI while repeating a specific vocal task 20 times consecutively. Audio recordings were made by means of an optical microphone. Images were restacked and subsections of the VT were segmented on multi-image–based cross sections using a semiautomatic algorithm. Different volume and area measures were evaluated.

      Results

      A high reproducibility of the morphologic data based on multiple images by means of the applied segmentation method could be shown with an overall variation of around 8%.

      Conclusions

      3D modeling of the VT during sustained phonation involves a complex experimental setting and elaborate image processing techniques. Functional comparative analysis or acoustical simulations based on such data should take the found variability into account.

      Key Words

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