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Investigation of phonatory characteristics using ex vivo rabbit larynges.

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Quantitative analysis of phonatory characteristics of rabbits has been widely neglected. However, preliminary studies established the rabbit larynx as a potential model of human phonation. This study reports quantitative data on phonation using ex vivo rabbit larynx models to achieve more insight into dependencies of three main components of the phonation process, including airflow, vocal fold dynamics, and the acoustic output. Sustained phonation was induced in 11 ex vivo rabbit larynges. For 414 phonatory conditions, vocal fold vibrations, acoustic, and aerodynamic parameters were analyzed as functions of longitudinal vocal fold pre-stress, applied air flow, and glottal closure insufficiency. Dimensions of the vocal folds were measured and histological data were analyzed. Glottal closure characteristics improved for increasing longitudinal pre-stress and applied airflow. For the subglottal pressure signal only the cepstral peak prominence showed dependency on glottal closure. In contrast, vibrational, acoustic, and aerodynamic parameters were found to be highly dependent on the degree of glottal closure: The more complete the glottal closure during phonation, the better the aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics. Hence, complete or at least partial glottal closure appears to enhance acoustic signal quality. Finally, results validate the ex vivo rabbit larynx as an effective model for analyzing the phonatory process.

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