Influence of Esophageal Motility on Esophageal Speech of Laryngectomized Patients
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After laryngectomy for treatment of cancer of the larynx, the patient may have vocal rehabilitation by esophageal speech. Some patients fail to achieve the esophageal speech due to reasons involving surgery, radiotherapy, and psychological alterations. Our hypothesis is that the esophageal motility alterations consequent to laryngectomy may be involved in the failure to achieve esophageal speech. Using manometry with continuous perfusion, we studied the esophageal motility of 25 laryngectomized patients, 10 of them able to produce esophageal speech and 15 unable to produce esophageal speech, and 40 asymptomatic normal volunteers. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure was measured by the rapid pull-through method and the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) pressure by the station pull-through method. The contractions were measured at 5, 10, and 15 cm above the LES after the subjects performed 10 swallows with a 5-mL bolus of water. By comparing volunteers and laryngectomized patients, we found a lower UES pressure, lower amplitude of contractions, and increased percentage of simultaneous contractions in laryngectomized patients (p <0.05). There was no difference between patients able and unable to produce esophageal speech in LES and UES pressure, esophageal contraction duration and velocity, or in the percentage of failed and simultaneous contractions. The esophageal contraction amplitude was lower in patients who acquired esophageal speech than in patients who did not (p <0.05 at 10 cm from LES). We conclude that there are esophageal motility alterations in laryngectomized patients but only the decrease of esophageal contraction amplitude seems to be associated with the acquisition of esophageal speech.
KeywordsLower Esophageal Sphincter Lower Amplitude Normal Volunteer Vocal Rehabilitation Esophageal Motility
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