• The Effects of Glossectomy on Anterior and Posterior Motion of the Tongue during Speech

      Reichard, Rachel Elizabeth; Stone, Maureen L. (2012)
      Speech debilitation in patients with glossectomy due to squamous cell carcinoma eradication has been described qualitatively by previous researchers. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively examine the changes in tongue motion in glossectomy patients by comparing them to normal controls to help clarify the effects of the tongue resection/reconstruction on normal motion of the tongue during speech. Eight glossectomy patients, including one with a flap reconstruction, and nine normal controls had MRI recorded in the mid-sagittal plane while uttering "a souk" to evaluate the effects of tumor/resection size, closure procedure used, the level of motor control, and s-type on the velocity and displacement of the tongue tip and body at one or more points in time. No statistically significant differences in tongue motion or motor control were found between normal controls and glossectomy patients, suggesting retention of tongue mobility post-glossectomy. Patients with larger resections were found to have more difficulty with tongue tip motion during speech and one patient treated with flap reconstruction also showed highly altered tongue motion. S-type was not found to have a statistically significant effect on tongue motion. This study suggests that post-glossectomy debility in speech revealed previously most likely cannot be attributed to quantitative changes in tongue motion, but rather qualitative changes in tongue motion.