Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P795-800, September 2019

Comparison of Pitch Strength With Perceptual and Other Acoustic Metric Outcome Measures Following Medialization Laryngoplasty



      The diagnoses of voice disorders, as well as treatment outcomes, are often tracked using visual (eg, stroboscopic images), auditory (eg, perceptual ratings), objective (eg, from acoustic or aerodynamic signals), and patient report (eg, Voice Handicap Index and Voice-Related Quality of Life) measures. However, many of these measures are known to have low to moderate sensitivity and specificity for detecting changes in vocal characteristics, including vocal quality.


      The objective of this study was to compare changes in estimated pitch strength (PS) with other conventionally used acoustic measures based on the cepstral peak prominence (smoothed cepstral peak prominence, cepstral spectral index of dysphonia, and acoustic voice quality index), and clinical judgments of voice quality (GRBAS [grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain] scale) following laryngeal framework surgery.


      This study involved post hoc analysis of recordings from 22 patients pretreatment and post treatment (thyroplasty and behavioral therapy). Sustained vowels and connected speech were analyzed using objective measures (PS, smoothed cepstral peak prominence, cepstral spectral index of dysphonia, and acoustic voice quality index), and these results were compared with mean auditory-perceptual ratings by expert clinicians using the GRBAS scale.


      All four acoustic measures changed significantly in the direction that usually indicates improved voice quality following treatment (P < 0.005). Grade and breathiness correlated the strongest with the acoustic measures (|r| ~ 0.7) with strain being the least correlated.


      Acoustic analysis on running speech highly correlates with judged ratings. PS is a robust, easily obtained acoustic measure of voice quality that could be useful in the clinical environment to follow treatment of voice disorders.

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