Dynamic MRI of larynx and vocal fold vibrations in normal phonation

Mayssa Ahmad, Jacques Dargaud, André Morin, François Cotton
Journal of Voice 2009, 23 (2): 235-9
Dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the larynx and vocal folds during phonation was used for measuring the vertical laryngeal movements and the glottal angle of the vocal folds opening and closing in dynamic phase. The data used in this analysis were taken on 10 healthy volunteers during maximal inspiration and the prolonged phonation of the vowels [i] (as in key), [a] (as in car), [u] (as in loop), and the consonant [sh] (as in ship). The results of our MRI data have demonstrated the difference of the vocal folds movement in relation to the vowel and consonant sounds, with a large glottal opening for [sh] and a narrow opening for [i] and [u], and the difference of the laryngeal position in relation to the vowels, with [a] and [u] having a lower larynx position than [i]. Imaging the larynx's positions and the vocal folds' vibrations is possible using dynamic MRI. This technique permits measurements of laryngeal structures and glottal parameters in dynamic function with multiplanar high-resolution imaging. Analysis of laryngeal activity and vocal folds' vibration may be helpful for the evaluation of the phonation function and for the understanding of the physiology of vocal production and voice modulation.


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