OBJECTIVE: To compare voice and speech function in patients who underwent laryngectomy with that of 2 control groups. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study comparing acoustic and temporal variables with perceptual evaluations in 3 subject groups. SETTING: University hospital in Göteborg, Sweden. SUBJECTS: Two groups of patients with laryngeal carcinoma were examined: 12 male patients who had laryngectomy and were using a tracheoesophageal prosthesis and 12 male patients treated with radical radiotherapy who had a preserved larynx. The third group consisted of 10 normal controls without laryngeal disease. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Acoustic variables were fundamental frequency, absolute fundamental frequency perturbation, speech rate, and maximum phonation time. Perceptual evaluation included 15 listeners' perceptual evaluation and the patients' self-assessment of speech intelligibility, voice quality, and speech acceptability. RESULTS: No significant acoustic or temporal differences were found between the laryngectomy and radical radiotherapy groups. There was a significant difference between the patient groups in perceptual evaluation. Both groups of patients differed from normal controls in acoustic and temporal measures, where the laryngectomy group generally deviated more from the normal controls than the patient group treated with radiotherapy. There was a weak, but significant, correlation between absolute fundamental frequency perturbation and perceived voice quality. CONCLUSIONS: Perceptual evaluations could indicate significant differences between the patients who underwent laryngectomy and irradiated patients, where the acoustic analysis failed to reflect these differences. Both patient groups could be distinguished according to acoustic and temporal measures when compared with normal controls. The acoustic analyses were more sufficient in voices without severe dysfunction.
The health status of approximately 1 million immigrants in the United States and Israel may have been adversely affected by radiation exposure as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and cleanup efforts. Many of these immigrants suffer from significant psychological distress, fearing that they have a radiation-induced illness. Based on a review of the literature and our experience from the US National Chernobyl Registry Coordinating Center, we recommend that medical management of these immigrants include routine physical examination, with particular attention to the thyroid gland. Adults should receive regular cancer screening as well as routine blood chemistry tests, thyroid function tests, complete blood cell count, and urinalysis. Children should be examined regularly, with attention to the thyroid and overall body growth. It is reasonable for children to undergo thyroid studies, a complete blood cell count, or neuropsychiatric testing if there is clinical suspicion of a disorder. Given the long latency period for disease induction by radiation exposure, it is still too early to fully assess and draw conclusions concerning the possible health effects of the Chernobyl disaster, and long-term follow-up of all potentially affected individuals is important.
BACKGROUND: The cognitive and academic outcomes of infants exposed to radiation after the meltdown at Chornobyl have been intensely debated. Western-based investigations indicate that no adverse effects occurred, but local studies reported increased cognitive impairments in exposed compared with non-exposed children. Our initial study found that at age 11 years, school grades and neuropsychological performance were similar in 300 children evacuated to Kiev as infants or in utero compared with 300 classmate controls, yet more evacuee mothers believed that their children had memory problems. This study re-examined the children's performance and academic achievement at age 19 years.METHOD: In 2005-2006, we conducted an 8-year follow-up of the evacuees (n=265) and classmate controls (n=261) assessed in Kiev in 1997. Outcomes included university attendance, tests of intelligence, attention, and memory, and subjective appraisals of memory problems. Scores were standardized using a local population-based control group (n=327). Analyses were stratified by parental education. RESULTS: Evacuees and classmates performed similarly and in the normal range on all tests, and no differential temporal changes were found. The results were comparable for the in utero subsample. The rates of university attendance and self-reported memory problems were also similar. Nevertheless, the evacuee mothers were almost three times as likely to report that their children had memory problems compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Chornobyl did not influence the cognitive functioning of exposed infants although more evacuee mothers still believed that their offspring had memory problems. These lingering worries reflect a wider picture of persistent health concerns as a consequence of the accident.
Overall 806 children evacuated from the city of Pripyat were examined for the thyroid condition. The children who received a dose of more than 30 rad for the thyroid manifested primary response in the form of euthyroid hyperthyroxinemia, a high risk of the development in future of autoimmune diseases in the lack of hypothyrosis.
Results, prospects of studying the effects of ionizing radiation on human beings are considered with regard to the outcomes of the Chernobyl catastrophe and the results of a 5-year implementation of the All-Union Programme C-27. Present-day problems and approaches to investigation for the nearest 5-year period are formulated.
We used magnetic resonance imaging to differentiate residual and recurrent lung cancer from the surrounding radiation pulmonary fibrosis in a 62-year-old patient. The cancer's signal intensity was greater than the fibrotic lung tissue's intensity in an ECG-gated image with relatively short repetition and echo times and, also, in images with long repetition and echo times.
Prospective conventional EEG study was carried out 3-5 and 10-13 years after the Chernobyl accident (1986) in patients who had acute radiation sickness and in emergency workers in 1986 ("liquidators"). Control groups comprised healthy volunteers; veterans of the Afghanistan war with posttraumatic stress disorder; veterans with mild traumatic brain injury; and patients with dyscirculatory encephalopathy. In 3-5 years after irradiation, there were irritated EEG changes with paroxysmal activity shifted to the left frontotemporal region (cortical-limbic overactivation) that were transformed 10-13 years after irradiation toward a low-voltage EEG pattern with excess of fast (beta) and slow (delta) activity together with depression of alpha and theta activity (organic brain damage with inhibition of the cortical-limbic system). Quantitative EEG is likely to be very informative for investigation of dose-effect relationships.