Ultrasound Evaluation of Tongue Movements in Speech and Swallowing

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: November 3, 1999
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Last verified: November 2004

This study will assess the use of ultrasound-a test that uses sound waves to produce images-as a diagnostic tool for evaluating speech and swallowing.

The following categories of individuals may be eligible for this study: 1) healthy volunteers between 20 and 85 years old with normal speech and hearing, 2) patients 6 to 85 years old with developmental neurological deficits in speech or swallowing, and 3) patients with tumors of the oral cavity, pharynx or larynx being treated at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Participants will undergo a 30-minute speech and oral motion evaluation, in which they imitate sounds, words and oral movements while a speech pathologist evaluates their lip, tongue and palate movements. They may also be asked to drink a small amount of water for examination of swallowing function.

For the ultrasound examination, a 3/4-inch transducer (device for transmitting and receiving sound waves) is placed under the participant's chin. While the transducer is in place, the subject 1) repeats sounds and a series of syllables in several sequences, 2) swallows three times with and without a small amount of water, and 3) swallows 3 teaspoons of non-fat pudding. The ultrasound images are recorded on tape for later analysis.

Otorhinolaryngologic Disease
Otorhinolaryngologic Neoplasm
Pharyngeal Neoplasm
Speech Disorder

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Exploration of the Diagnostic Capabilities of Ultrasound of the Oropharynx and Larynx

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 570
Study Start Date: August 1979
Estimated Study Completion Date: November 2004
Detailed Description:

Studies conducted using ultrasound imaging at the NIH, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Diagnostic Radiology, have demonstrated that ultrasound imaging can be used reliably to study speech and swallowing impairments in a variety of conditions and diseases. Since ultrasound is non-invasive with no reported bioeffects, it can be used repeatedly to follow the progression of a disease. Ultrasound imaging of the oral cavity during speech and swallowing allows easy visualization of the tongue/hyoid bone motion and transport of the bolus during swallowing and tongue surface configuration during speech. Images can be obtained in several planes for viewing muscular coordination and timing and specific measures can be obtained from digitized video images. Thus it has widespread clinical research implications for patients with disorders affecting the oral peripheral muscles, salivary gland flow and the central nervous system control of speech and swallowing. While ultrasound technology has been used extensively in Europe to evaluate tumors of the head and neck, its use in this country has been marginal. We plan to compare ultrasound evaluation of tumor staging, tumor volume, and tumor recurrence in patients with tumors of the larynx, oral cavity and hypopharynx. Currently, this is accomplished by CT or MRI scanning procedures. We plan to compare CT/MRI results with ultrasound to determine if this non-invasive technique can be utilized reliably for diagnosis and tracking of oropharyngeal tumors.


Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes


Normal volunteers:

Normal volunteers ages 21 to 85 may be asked to participate in a study of speech and swallowing utilizing a traditional clinical examination of oral-motor performance. If the subjects are without deficits in dental occlusion, speech articulation, tongue and lip strength, tongue and lip mobility, palatal function and oral sensation they will be asked to participate in an ultrasonic evaluation of tongue/hyoid interaction during swallowing and speech.

Children will be included if they are referred with a medical condition that affects the oral pharyngeal phase of swallowing, voice production or laryngeal function and the investigator needs to evaluate functional performance and safety for oral feeding.

Neurological Group:

Subjects aged 6 to 85 with diagnosed developmental, neuromotor, systemic, genetic, neurologic, structural and post surgical dysfunction who have deficits in speech (dysarthria) and/or swallow (dysphagia) may be asked to participate in this study of ultrasonic imaging. Aging patients with and without dementia may also be studied. Patients with Post Polio Syndrome, Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis, Toricollis, Cerebellar Degeneration, Parkinson's disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, ALS, Cystinosis, are among the conditions of interest. Subjects with complaints of oral dryness, and patients who have undergone mandibular and oral surgery may also be studied during swallowing.

Oropharyngeal/Laryngeal Tumors:

Patients will be seen who are enrolled in NCI and NIDCD protocols for head and neck tumors.


Normal Subjects:

Hearing impairment reported (above 40 db, bilaterally)


Oral Prosthesis

Palatal surgery or other restorative dental surgery

Radial neck dissection, glossectomy

Tumor or masses in neck or tongue

Cerebral vascular attack


Non-English speaker

Childhood articulation impairment

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00001167

United States, Maryland
Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center (CC)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
  More Information

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00001167     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 790101, 79-CC-0101
Study First Received: November 3, 1999
Last Updated: March 3, 2008
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Tongue Motion
Speech Disorders
Oral-Facial Paralysis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Neoplasms
Pharyngeal Neoplasms
Speech Disorders
Communication Disorders
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Language Disorders
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Nervous System Diseases
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Neuromuscular Diseases
Pharyngeal Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Stomatognathic Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on October 02, 2015