Evaluation of Swallowing Sound Using a Throat Microphone with an AE Sensor in Patients Wearing Palatal Augmentation Prosthesis
Ayuko Kamiyanagi*, Yuka Sumita*,†, Manabu Chikai**, Kenta Kimura**, Yoshikazu Seki**, Shuichi Ino**, and Hisashi Taniguchi*
*Department of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)
1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
**Human Informatics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
An increase in the population of dysphagia patients due to an aging population has led to increased attention on examination methods based on swallowing sound as simple methods of screening aspiration. However, an issue with the conventional method of cervical auscultation is that its accuracy varies based on the examiner. Previous studies examined the use of throat microphones and acceleration sensors to examine the acoustic characteristics of swallowing sound. Nevertheless, extant studies to date did not reach a level of clinical application. This study focused on using a throat microphone that is conventionally used to measure swallowing sound and an AE sensor to measurement a high-frequency range equal to and exceeding 20 kHz (upper limit 2 MHz). The study involved measuring the sounds of swallowing water of healthy subjects and patients wearing palatal augmentation prosthesis who had done surgical operation to treat head and neck cancer with the objective of using swallowing sound for screening aspiration. Acoustic characteristics of measured swallowing sound were analyzed using probability distributions using Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots and spectral analysis based on wavelet transform. The findings indicated that with respect to patients with PAP, the duration time of the swallowing sound and the Q-Q plot departure rate were both significantly higher when compared with those in healthy subjects. The analysis based on wavelet transform indicated that the AE sensor allowed measurements of waveforms at a higher frequency range when compared to those in the case of the throat microphone. Additionally, an increased frequency of higher-frequency signals was associated with patients with PAP when compared to healthy subjects. The results revealed that it is possible to measure waveforms in the high-frequency range by using the AE sensor. The findings suggested the validity of analysis of the swallowing sound based on probability distributions using the Q-Q plot to evaluate the swallowing sound.
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