Effects of lingual gestures on blood flow into the tongue: A pilot study

Authors

  • Kenneth L. Watkin PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical Ultrasound Research Laboratory, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 901 South Sixth, Champaign, Illinois 61821
    • Medical Ultrasound Research Laboratory, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 901 South Sixth, Champaign, Illinois 61821
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  • Tanya M. Gallagher PhD,

    1. College of Applied Life Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
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  • Jeri A. Logemann PhD,

    1. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
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  • Alfred W. Rademaker PhD

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois
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Abstract

Background

Reduced blood flow has been hypothesized to be a major factor in the formation of postradiation fibrosis. This study examined Doppler ultrasonography as a technique to detect changes in blood flow into the tongue during selected lingual gestures, /t/ and /k/.

Methods

Six normal subjects, three young men (mean age, 26 years) and three older men (mean age, 66 years) were examined in an upright position using Doppler ultrasound imaging of the external carotid artery just below the lingual artery. Measurements were made with a standardized segmentation technique before and after three repetitions of four speech production gestures /t/ and /k/, each with natural and maximal force.

Results

Blood flow peak systole increased significantly after the speech gestures (p < .001). Pooled before and after gesture values for older subjects were significantly lower than those for younger subjects (p ≤ .05).

Conclusions

Ultrasonography is a clinically useful technique for measuring blood flow during a dynamic gesture and may be useful for measuring effects of tumor treatment and in a lingual exercise program. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 23: 404–408, 2001.

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