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Exploration of the Diagnostic Capabilities of Ultrasound of the Oropharynx and Larynx

Not Enrolling
Otorhinolaryngologic Disease, Otorhinolaryngologic Neoplasm, Pharyngeal Neoplasm, Polymyositis, Speech Disorder

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Trial Information

Exploration of the Diagnostic Capabilities of Ultrasound of the Oropharynx and Larynx

Studies conducted using ultrasound imaging at the NIH, Departments of Rehabilitation
Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology, have demonstrated that ultrasound imaging can be used
reliably to study speech and swallowing impairments in a variety of conditions and diseases.
Since ultrasound is non-invasive with no reported bioeffects, it can be used repeatedly to
follow the progression of a disease. Ultrasound imaging of the oral cavity during speech
and swallowing allows easy visualization of the tongue/hyoid bone motion and transport of
the bolus during swallowing and tongue surface configuration during speech. Images can be
obtained in several planes for viewing muscular coordination and timing and specific
measures can be obtained from digitized video images. Thus it has widespread clinical
research implications for patients with disorders affecting the oral peripheral muscles,
salivary gland flow and the central nervous system control of speech and swallowing. While
ultrasound technology has been used extensively in Europe to evaluate tumors of the head and
neck, its use in this country has been marginal. We plan to compare ultrasound evaluation
of tumor staging, tumor volume, and tumor recurrence in patients with tumors of the larynx,
oral cavity and hypopharynx. Currently, this is accomplished by CT or MRI scanning
procedures. We plan to compare CT/MRI results with ultrasound to determine if this
non-invasive technique can be utilized reliably for diagnosis and tracking of oropharyngeal

Inclusion Criteria


Normal volunteers:

Normal volunteers ages 21 to 85 may be asked to participate in a study of speech and
swallowing utilizing a traditional clinical examination of oral-motor performance. If the
subjects are without deficits in dental occlusion, speech articulation, tongue and lip
strength, tongue and lip mobility, palatal function and oral sensation they will be asked
to participate in an ultrasonic evaluation of tongue/hyoid interaction during swallowing
and speech.

Children will be included if they are referred with a medical condition that affects the
oral pharyngeal phase of swallowing, voice production or laryngeal function and the
investigator needs to evaluate functional performance and safety for oral feeding.

Neurological Group:

Subjects aged 6 to 85 with diagnosed developmental, neuromotor, systemic, genetic,
neurologic, structural and post surgical dysfunction who have deficits in speech
(dysarthria) and/or swallow (dysphagia) may be asked to participate in this study of
ultrasonic imaging. Aging patients with and without dementia may also be studied.
Patients with Post Polio Syndrome, Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis, Toricollis, Cerebellar
Degeneration, Parkinson's disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, ALS, Cystinosis, are
among the conditions of interest. Subjects with complaints of oral dryness, and patients
who have undergone mandibular and oral surgery may also be studied during swallowing.

Oropharyngeal/Laryngeal Tumors:

Patients will be seen who are enrolled in NCI and NIDCD protocols for head and neck


Normal Subjects:

Hearing impairment reported (above 40 db, bilaterally)


Oral Prosthesis

Palatal surgery or other restorative dental surgery

Radial neck dissection, glossectomy

Tumor or masses in neck or tongue

Cerebral vascular attack


Non-English speaker

Childhood articulation impairment

Type of Study:


Study Design:



United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

August 1979

Completion Date:

November 2004

Related Keywords:

  • Otorhinolaryngologic Disease
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Neoplasm
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasm
  • Polymyositis
  • Speech Disorder
  • Dysphagia
  • Dysarthria
  • Tongue Motion
  • Xerostomia
  • Swallowing
  • Speech
  • Polymyositis
  • Speech Disorders
  • Oral-Facial Paralysis
  • Ultrasound
  • Neoplasms
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Neoplasms
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms
  • Speech Disorders
  • Polymyositis



Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center (CC) Bethesda, Maryland  20892