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Velopharyngeal incompetence in patients with cleft palate, flexible video pharyngoscopy and perceptual speech assessment: a correlational pilot study

  • S Rajan (a1), M Kurien (a1), A K Gupta (a2), S S Mathews (a1), R R Albert (a1) and D Tychicus (a1)...

Abstract

Objectives:

To assess the role of video endoscopy in evaluating velopharyngeal incompetence and investigate a possible relationship between velopharyngeal incompetence type and speech defect in cleft palate patients.

Methods:

A prospective study of 28 pre- or post-operative cleft palate patients with speech defects who attended Plastic Surgery–Cleft Palate and ENT out-patient clinics was performed. The velar defect type was determined using a flexible endoscope and findings were video recorded. Speech pathology was assessed using the cleft palate audit protocol for speech.

Results:

A significant, clinically relevant relationship was noted between the perceived characteristics of hypernasality and velopharyngeal insufficiency type. Hypernasal speech was a definite clinical indicator of velopharyngeal incompetence, and the type 1 velopharyngeal defect was most common. Type 1 velopharyngeal coronal-type dysfunction was strongly associated with hypernasality (p < 0.05). When speech substitution was noted, type 2 velopharyngeal (or sagittal) incompetence could be predicted (p < 0.05).

Conclusion:

In the management of cleft palate patients, it is important that surgical correction of the defect and achieving velopharyngeal competency for speech are performed simultaneously. Pre-operative velopharyngeal endoscopy with speech assessment will define the anatomical and functional bases for velopharyngeal correction and assist in planning and tailoring the pharyngeal flap.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr S Rajan, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head Neck Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, IndiaPIN-632004 Fax: +416-2232035 E-mail: drrajanss@cmcvellore.ac.in

References

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Keywords

Velopharyngeal incompetence in patients with cleft palate, flexible video pharyngoscopy and perceptual speech assessment: a correlational pilot study

  • S Rajan (a1), M Kurien (a1), A K Gupta (a2), S S Mathews (a1), R R Albert (a1) and D Tychicus (a1)...

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