Diplophonia can occur in patients with polyps, atrophy, paralysis, or scars. Its vibratory patterns have not been well characterized. High-speed video (HSV) analysis can contribute to their understanding. Twenty subjects with a diplophonic voice quality were studied by HSV. Diplophonia was due to medical causes including vocal fold paresis (n = 7), vocal atrophy (n = 5), polyps (n = 5), and scars/sulci (n = 3). The HSV was analyzed using a multislice digital videokymography (DKG). The DKG tracing was analyzed qualitatively and then transformed into a vibrogram waveform signal for frequency analysis. Results: Vibratory abnormalities seen on HSVs explained the diplophonia. Subharmonics to the fundamental frequency can be visualized by DKG. None could be resolved by stroboscopy. One can stratify diplophonia as symmetric or asymmetric based on the involvement of one or both vocal folds. Scars and atrophy showed symmetric subharmonic production with ectopic beats every 4–10 beats. Some subjects showed anterior and posterior independent vocal fold oscillators. Asymmetric causes of diplophonia are common in patients with paralysis. Two different oscillation frequencies of each vocal fold generate in and then out of phase interaction between the two sides. Vibrogram analysis documents the frequent presence of interharmonic energy peaks above the dominant fundamental frequency. Eighteen of the 20 subjects have obvious subharmonic peaks. Conclusion: Patients with diplophonia have vibratory abnormalities arising from the vocal folds. HSV and vibrogram analysis followed by frequency analysis of the vibrogram can resolve vibratory abnormality into symmetric versus asymmetric causes and can document the type of vibratory abnormality.
- High-speed video
- Vocal folds