Phonation threshold pressure and flow in excised human larynges

Ted Mau, Joseph Muhlestein, Sean Callahan, Kent T. Weinheimer, Roger W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To determine the phonation threshold pressure (PTP) and phonation threshold flow (PTF) in excised human larynges; determine the effects of posterior glottal width, glottal area, and gender on PTP and PTF; test the hypothesis that hysteresis is present in excised human laryngeal phonation; and compare these results to those from canine experiments and human subject measurements. Study Design: Induced phonation of excised human larynges in the laboratory. Methods: Nine human larynges were harvested within 24 hours postmortem. PTP and PTF at phonation onset and offset were measured on a bench apparatus. The effects of posterior glottal width, glottal area, and gender were examined. Results: Large intersubject variability was observed in PTP and PTF. PTP was comparable to those measured in vivo, whereas PTF was substantially higher. One-way ANOVA showed no significant dependence of PTP and PTF on posterior glottal width. Hysteresis was observed, with offset PTP and PTF lower than onset values. Offset measurements had significantly less variability than onset measurements (P =.012 for PTP, P =.0001 for PTF). Conclusions: This study is one of the first to report onset and offset PTP and PTF in fresh excised human larynges. The high PTF observed likely reflects a large direct current flow component due to vocal fold bowing. Offset PTP and PTF values may be intrinsically more reliably measured than onset values. The large intersubject variability in PTP and PTF may have implication for the clinical application of these aerodynamic parameters of phonation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1751
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Phonation threshold pressure
  • excised larynx
  • hysteresis
  • phonation threshold flow
  • vocal fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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