High frequency ultrasonic characterization of human vocal fold tissue

J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Sep;122(3):1827. doi: 10.1121/1.2756759.


Recently, endolaryngeal sonography at frequencies ranging from 10 to 30 MHz has been found to be useful in diagnosing diseases of the vocal folds (VFs). However, image resolution can be further improved by ultrasound at higher frequencies, necessitating the measurement of high-frequency acoustic properties of VF tissue. The ultrasonic parameters of integrated backscatter, sound velocity, and frequency-dependent attenuation coefficient were measured in both the lamina propria (LP) and vocalis muscle (VM) of human VFs using a 47 MHz high-frequency ultrasonic transducer. The integrated backscatter was -173.44+/-6.14 (mean+/-s.d.) and -195.13+/-3.58 dB in the LP and VM, respectively, the sound velocity was 1667.68+/-44.9 and 1595.07+/-39.33 ms, and the attenuation coefficient at 47 MHz was 8.28+/-1.72 and 7.17+/-1.30 dBmm. The difference between these ultrasonic parameters may be attributed to variations in the structure and fiber concentrations in VF tissue. These results could serve as a useful clinical reference for the further development of high-frequency ultrasound devices for endolarynx sonography applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Larynx / diagnostic imaging
  • Larynx / physiology
  • Phonation / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vocal Cords / anatomy & histology
  • Vocal Cords / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vocal Cords / physiology*
  • Voice / physiology