Author(s): Bressmann T, Sader R, Whitehill TL, Samman N
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Abstract PURPOSE: The primary determinants for good speech outcome after glossectomy are not well established. This study evaluated the effect of tongue motility, type of reconstruction, and affected muscles on speech intelligibility. METHODS: Fourteen German glossectomy patients participated in an intelligibility test, which targeted lingual consonants. Tongue motility was rated on nine 3-point scales. Surgical mapping documented type of reconstruction and affected muscles. RESULTS: Mean consonant intelligibility was 71.25\% and mean tongue motility was 34\%. There was a moderate correlation between tongue motility and consonant intelligibility (r = 0.619). Patients with platysma flap reconstructions (n = 6) had a tendency for more correctly identified consonants. Patients with an intact genioglossus (n = 4) had significantly better tongue motility scores. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the hypothesis that good tongue motility is a precursor of good postglossectomy speech. Although flap reconstructions led to better consonant intelligibility in this study, this should be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size.
This article was published in J Oral Maxillofac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids