Patterns of velopharyngeal closure during speech in individuals with normal habitual resonance: A nasoendoscopic analysis

Published:April 18, 2022DOI:



      Velopharyngeal valve closure is essential for adequate speech intelligibility as well as for other activities. The variations in the contribution of different components of the velopharyngeal port walls produce different closure patterns. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to identify the prevalence of the different velopharyngeal closure patterns in Arabic-speaking individuals with no perceived hypernasality or velopharyngeal dysfunction.


      After verification of selection criteria, 100 subjects with age range between 15 and 60 years underwent nasoendoscopic examination and both the extent of movement of the different velopharyngeal walls as well as closure pattern were observed.


      Almost all participants had grade 4 (full range) velar mobility, most participants had grade 3 lateral pharyngeal wall movement, and none showed any observable posterior pharyngeal wall movement. Coronal closure pattern was the most frequent (75%) among participants followed by circular pattern (25%). There was no statistically significant difference between both genders in the extent of velar and lateral pharyngeal wall movements, yet the frequency of closure patterns differed statistically significantly between males and females.


      Coronal pattern was the most prevalent type of velopharyngeal closure in subjects with normal habitual resonance, of both sexes, yet it occurred more frequently in males.


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