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Diagnostic Tests

For each patient, a thorough history is the first part of each evaluation. The team in Children's Hospital's Voice, Resonance, and Swallowing Disorders Center will ask the child and his or her parents about symptoms and medical history, followed by a thorough head and neck examination. The exam likely will involve several members of the team to test for speech intelligibility (clarity), vocal quality, efficiency, and proper speaking technique.

Through a complete range of diagnostic services, the center’s team identifies and assesses voice,

Dr. Dohar with a patient at the Voice Center
Videolaryngostroboscopy on a patient with chronic hoarseness.

resonance, and swallowing disorders to determine the appropriate treatment strategy for each patient.

The speech (voice, resonance, articulation) diagnostic evaluation consists of perceptual, acoustic, and aerodynamic measures, with direct visual assessment of functional voice use, by the clinican’s perceptual acuity as well as computerized data collection software. Each patient's comprehensive assessment also includes trial voice therapy, voice quality of life survey, vocal performance evaluation, and voice use profile.

Direct visual assessment of voice resonance swallow structure and function may consist of:

  • Videolaryngostroboscopy and full panendoscopic evaluations, measures of vocal aerodynamic, nasometric, and acoustic parameters as they relate to voice and resonance

  • Functional nasendoscopy and dynamic x-ray studies to help assess severe resonance problems

  • Modified barium swallows, or MBS, clinical feeding evaluations, functional endoscopic evaluations of swallowing (FEES), and laryngeal sensory testing to further evaluate swallowing function

  • Diagnostic laryngeal electromyography is used to measure electrical activity of the laryngeal muscles in patients with vocal cord paralysis. It is helpful in predicting recovery.

Nasometry on a child with abnormal vocal resonance
Rhona Galera, MS, CCC-SLP, performs nasometry on a child with abnormal vocal resonance.

This wide-ranging approach to evaluation and diagnosis also includes identifying additional conditions, such as reflux, allergies, or neurologic problems that might be involved in a voice or swallowing disorder.

Read about some of the treatment options offered at the Voice, Resonance, and Swallowing Center.

Last Update
December 7, 2011
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Last Update
December 7, 2011