Role of the Internal Superior Laryngeal Nerve in the Motor Responses of Vocal Cords and the Related Voice Acoustic Changes

Sadegh Seifpanahi, Farzad Izadi, Ali-Ashraf Jamshidi, Farhad Torabinezhad, Javad Sarrafzadeh, Siavash Mohammadi

Abstract


Background: Repeated efforts by researchers to impose voice changes by laryngeal surface electrical stimulation (SES) have come to no avail. This present pre-experimental study employed a novel method for SES application so as to evoke the motor potential of the internal superior laryngeal nerve (ISLN) and create voice changes.
Methods: Thirty-two normal individuals (22 females and 10 males) participated in this study. The subjects were selected from the students of Iran University of Medical Sciences in 2014. Two monopolar active electrodes were placed on the thyrohyoid space at the location of the ISLN entrance to the larynx and 1 dispersive electrode was positioned on the back of the neck. A current with special programmed parameters was applied to stimulate the ISLN via the active electrodes and simultaneously the resultant acoustic changes were evaluated. All the means of the acoustic parameters during SES and rest periods were compared using the paired t-test.
Results: The findings indicated significant changes (P=0.00) in most of the acoustic parameters during SES presentation compared to them at rest. The mean of fundamental frequency standard deviation (SD F0) at rest was 1.54 (SD=0.55) versus 4.15 (SD=3.00) for the SES period. The other investigated parameters comprised fundamental frequency (F0), minimum F0, jitter, shimmer, harmonic-to-noise ratio (HNR), mean intensity, and minimum intensity.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrated significant changes in most of the important acoustic features, suggesting that the stimulation of the ISLN via SES could induce motor changes in the vocal folds. The clinical applicability of the method utilized in the current study in patients with vocal fold paralysis requires further research.

 


Keywords


Laryngeal nerves; Electric stimulation; Voice; Acoustics; Vocal cords

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pISSN: 0253-0716         eISSN: 1735-3688