Towards Fully Automated Determination of Laryngeal Adductor Reflex Latencies through High-Speed Laryngoscopy Image Processing
Protective reflexes of the larynx help to avoid intrusion of foreign particles into the lower airways, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia. These protective mechanisms include the Laryngeal Adductor Reflex (LAR), a rapid adduction of the vocal folds. Up to now, the LAR latency could only be determined manually by visually assessing laryngoscopic high-speed video sequences obtained during and after stimulation of the larynx by water droplet impact. Here, we present a novel image processing algorithm based on difference image calculation and optical flow analysis for a more objective LAR latency determination. To evaluate our prototype algorithm, we compared the results obtained for a set of example sequences with the values given by two expert phoniatricians. The results show a very good LAR stimulation detection performance. LAR onset detection remains challenging for our algorithmic approach as well as for the human perceptive system, as demonstrated by a low inter-rater reliability.
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