, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 723–729 | Cite as

A Biomechanical Study of Hyoid Bone and Laryngeal Movements During Swallowing Comparing the Blom Low Profile Voice Inner Cannula and Passy-Muir One Way Tracheotomy Tube Speaking Valves

  • Prateek Srinet
  • Douglas J. Van Daele
  • Stewart I. Adam
  • Morton I. Burrell
  • Ryan Aronberg
  • Steven B. LederEmail author
Original Article


The aim of this prospective, consecutive, cohort study was to investigate the biomechanical effects, if any, of the Blom low profile voice inner cannula and Passy-Muir one-way tracheotomy tube speaking valves on movement of the hyoid bone and larynx during swallowing. Ten adult patients (8 male, 2 female) with an age range of 61–89 years (mean 71 years) participated. Criteria for inclusion were ≥18 years of age, English speaking, and ability to tolerate both changing to a Blom tracheotomy tube and placement of a one-way tracheotomy tube speaking valve with a fully deflated tracheotomy tube cuff. Digitized videofluoroscopic swallow studies were performed at 30 frames/s and with each patient seated upright in the lateral plane. A total of 18 swallows (three each with 5 cc bolus volumes of single contrast barium and puree + barium × 3 conditions) were analyzed for each participant. Variables evaluated included larynx-to-hyoid bone excursion (mm), maximum hyoid bone displacement (mm), and aspiration status under three randomized conditions: 1. Tracheotomy tube open with no inner cannula; 2. Tracheotomy tube with Blom valve; and 3. Tracheotomy tube with Passy-Muir valve. Blinded reliability testing with a Pearson product moment correlation was performed on 20 % of the data. Intra- and inter-rater reliability for combined measurements of larynx-to-hyoid bone excursion and maximum hyoid bone displacement was r = 0.98. Intra- and inter-rater reliability for aspiration status was 100 %. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found for larynx-to-hyoid bone excursion and maximum hyoid bone displacement during swallowing based upon an open tracheotomy tube, Blom valve, or Passy-Muir valve. Aspiration status was identical for all three randomized conditions. The presence of a one-way tracheotomy tube speaking valve did not significantly alter two important components of normal pharyngeal swallow biomechanics, i.e., hyoid bone and laryngeal movements. Aspiration status was similarly unaffected by valve use. Clinicians should be aware that the data do not support placement of a one-way tracheotomy tube speaking valve to reduce prandial aspiration.


Deglutition Deglutition disorders Tracheotomy Pharyngeal swallow biomechanics One-way valve Aspiration 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prateek Srinet
    • 1
  • Douglas J. Van Daele
    • 2
  • Stewart I. Adam
    • 1
  • Morton I. Burrell
    • 3
  • Ryan Aronberg
    • 1
  • Steven B. Leder
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Section of Otolaryngology, Department of SurgeryYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head/Neck SurgeryUniversity of Iowa Hospitals & ClinicsIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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