Objective: To compare videonasendoscopy, lateral videofluoroscopy, and perceptual speech examination in the assessment of velopharyngeal dysfunction.
Design: Retrospective observational.
Setting: Multidisciplinary cleft palate team at a tertiary academic institution.
Patients, Participants: Patients who had undergone videonasendoscopy and lateral videofluoroscopy for suspected velopharyngeal dysfunction at our center were evaluated. Inclusion required that videonasendoscopy, lateral videofluoroscopy, and the perceptual speech exam were performed on the same day. A total of 88 patients were analyzed.
Main Outcome Measure(s): Primary outcome measures included percent closure on videonasendoscopy, percent closure on lateral videofluoroscopy, and quantitative scores for hypernasal resonance, nasal emission, and facial grimace. Additional outcome measures included linear and angular anatomic measurements obtained from lateral videofluoroscopy.
Results: Moderately strong correlation was found between closure estimates of videonasendoscopy and lateral videofluoroscopy (ρ = .583; p < .001). Lateral videofluoroscopy estimates of closure averaged 11.7% higher than videonasendoscopy. Closure correlated moderately with overall speech severity (ρ = .304; p = .005); whereas, a stronger correlation was seen with hypernasal resonance (ρ = -.479; p < .001). Patients exhibiting grimace had worse closure than those without (79.1% versus 70.7%; p = .035). Movement angle of the velum and change in genu angle correlated significantly with closure function (ρ = -.304; p = .034 and ρ = -.395; p < .001, respectively).
Conclusions: Videonasendoscopy and lateral videofluoroscopy closure estimates correlated moderately. Lateral videofluoroscopy tended to give smaller gap estimates. Hypernasal resonance and facial grimace are useful clinical indicators of large gap size. Velar movement angle and change in genu angle were identified as anatomical correlates of closure function.