High-speed Imaging of Vocal Fold Vibration Onset Delay: Normal Versus Abnormal

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18 Scopus citations


Objectives Vocal fold vibration onset delay (VFVOD) is heard frequently in spasmodic dysphonia and in muscle tension dysphonia. VFVOD changes due to other vocal pathologies have not been investigated. VFVOD during sustained vowel production was estimated with high-speed video in 10 normal and 40 pathologic subjects (scars, vocal fold paralysis, vocal fold nodules, and polyps). Analysis of high-speed video was done using digital kymography. Results VFVOD can be divided into two portions. Pre-phonation delay (PPD) is the duration when the vocal folds are nearly approximated to the time of first observed oscillation. Steady state delay (SSD) is the time when vocal folds are observed to come into oscillation until steady state of oscillation is observed. Normal subjects have almost zero PPD with vocal fold oscillation observed before full vocal fold adduction. Pathologic cases showed prolonged PPD because of (1) false cord adduction, (2) prolonged true vocal fold adduction, and (3) delay to onset of vocal fold vibration. Normal subjects have SSD of three to five cycles before steady state. Pathologic states result in increased SSD. Causes for increased SSD include (1) slow ramping up to steady state, (2) partial vibration of vocal folds, and (3) diplophonia with alternating beats before achieving steady state. There are significant differences between normal and pathology groups in both PPD and SSD. Conclusion VFVOD is elevated in pathologic states. This can be due to increase in PPD or SSD. VFVOD is an under-recognized phenomenon that may contribute to complaints of vocal fatigue and dysphonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Dysphonia
  • High-speed video
  • Speech disorder
  • Video laryngoscopy
  • Voice delay


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