This study was designed to explore the relationships between the physio-anatomical structure of the post-laryngectomee and quality of esophageal speech. An attempt was also made to correlate radiation and radical neck procedures with quality of esophageal speech.

A videofluoroscopic examination of the post-laryngectomized site was performed while 18 subjects read a short passage. The observations from each examination were evaluated by a board certified radiologist. The passage, recorded on tape, was rated by 18 judges for quality on a scale from one to seven and seven specific factors of the esophageal speech rated on their contribution to the overall score as designated by +, - , and 0. The overall average scores of each subject's speech was then compared to the anatomic and physiologic observations of the radiologist. Radiation and radical neck procedures were also compared to quality of speech.

The structure and movement of the soft palate, structure of the hypopharynx, tongue movement and structure, as well as structure of the pharyngoesophageal segment did not correlate with the quality of esophageal speech as rated by the 18 judges. There was a significant correlation between esophageal width and successful quality of esophageal speech as well as to these seven factors-: number of words said in one phrase, pronunciation, understandability, voice quality, inflection, noises, and volume. Correlation of quality of speech with radiation and radical neck procedures could not be made due to the limited number of subjects in this category.

These results provide further support for previous support for previous findings of a significant correlation of esophageal width and quality of esophageal speech. This suggests the value of a more extensive study of esophageal air volume and speech quality.

LLU Discipline

Speech Pathology


Speech-Language Pathology


Graduate School

First Advisor

Jack L. Hartley

Second Advisor

Karen L. Jones

Third Advisor

Richard J. Zauner

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Subject - Local

Laryngectomy; Speech; Alaryngeal



Page Count

vii; 51

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives