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This is a cross-sectional study from India where 69 patients were assessed for speech intelligibility and phonetics using an assessment tool in the local language. Volume defects were classified into thirds and the location of this defect noted. Not unsurprisingly, the volume of the glossectomy defect significantly correlated with speech and, of those larger resections where the tip was removed, there was significant alteration of interdental sounds. Using these as predictors, they were able to construct a classification system for further predictors in speech following glossectomy and they viewed this as useful in post-surgical rehabilitation. The speech evaluation was completed at a mean of 14 months following completion of treatment. There were, however, those patients who went on to have adjuvant radiotherapy. In addition, whilst no reconstruction was undertaken for the smaller defects, reconstruction was undertaken in the larger defects, with a mix of no reconstruction and a variety of flaps for the intermediate group. These two factors possibly compound the results of a somewhat simplistic classification system.

Volume and location of the defect as predictors of speech outcome after glossectomy: correlation with a classification system.
Bhattacharya S, Thankappen K, Sukumaran SV, et al.
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Stuart Clark

Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.

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