Phonation Threshold Pressure/Flow for Reflecting Glottal Closure in Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis

Jung Hsuan Jen, Roger W. Chan, Chia Hsin Wu, Chi Te Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous theoretical analysis predicted that phonation threshold flow (PTF) could be a more sensitive aerodynamic measure than phonation threshold pressure (PTP) for reflecting glottal incompetence. This study investigated the feasibility of whether PTP and PTF may differentiate subjects with unilateral adductor vocal fold paralysis and paresis (UAVFP) from those without, and whether PTP and PTF could reflect the extent of incomplete glottal closure associated with UAVFP. Methods: PTP and PTF were quantified for 13 subjects with UAVFP and 21 control subjects with normal voice, and the normalized glottal gap area (NGGA) based on videostroboscopic image analysis was quantified for subjects with UAVFP. Results: Significant differences in both PTP and PTF were found between subjects with UAVFP and control subjects. Receiver operating characteristic analysis indicated a higher discriminatory ability of PTP for differentiating subjects with UAVFP from those without (area under the curve of 0.905 for PTP, 0.678 for PTF), yet a significant positive correlation was found between PTF and NGGA (Spearman's ρ = 0.571) but not between PTP and NGGA (ρ = −0.364). Conclusion: Results supported the feasibility of using PTP and PTF as potential diagnostic indicators for reflecting glottal closure in UAVFP, with PTP potentially more sensitive for differentiating subjects with and without incomplete glottal closure. These preliminary findings were limited by the small sample size, with further studies needed to verify whether PTF could be more sensitive for reflecting the extent of incomplete glottal closure, as predicted theoretically. Level of Evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 131:E1598–E1604, 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1598-E1604
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Larynx
  • aerodynamic measures
  • glottal closure
  • paresis
  • vocal fold paralysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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