Voice quality of prepubescent children with quiescent recurrent respiratory papillomatosis

Academic Article


  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term impact of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) and its treatment on voice quality in prepubescent children. Study design: Case-control study. Methods: Prepubescent children with RRP in remission for at least 12 [according to MM section] months were asked to participate. Remission was documented by absence of papillomas on fiberoptic flexible laryngoscopy. An age- and sex-matched control was selected for each patient enrolled. Voice was evaluated using the voice-related quality of life (V-RQOL) questionnaire, perceptual evaluations of voice quality by speech-language pathologists using the GRBAS (grade of hoarseness, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, strain) scale, and acoustic analysis (fundamental frequency, maximal phonation time, and relative average perturbation) using the Visi-Pitch II 3300. Results: Medical records of 84 patients were reviewed and 15 met study criteria. Five agreed to participate but one was excluded due to the presence of papillomas. The four study patients and four matched controls were between 9- and 11-years old. On the V-RQOL questionnaire, each control rated V-RQOL as normal (10/50) and the average patient group score was within the normal range (11.5/50). On perceptual evaluations, the patient's voices were more hoarse, breathy, and rough compared to controls'. Acoustic analysis showed that patients' voices had a lower average fundamental frequency (F0) (200Hz compared to 243Hz for controls) and a higher relative average perturbation (RAP) (1.10 compared to 0.77), although only one patient's voice actually had elevated RAP (2.89), which had a large impact on raising the average score for the patient group. The average maximal phonation times were similar for the two groups (7.8s for patients and 7.4s for controls) but lower than average normal scores reported in the literature. Conclusions: Although children with RRP do not perceive their voice quality to have a negative impact on V-RQOL, speech-language pathologist evaluations and acoustic measurements show objective differences between the voices of children with quiescent RRP and those of normal, healthy controls. © 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lindman JP; Gibbons MD; Morlier R; Wiatrak BJ
  • Start Page

  • 529
  • End Page

  • 536
  • Volume

  • 68
  • Issue

  • 5