In vitro measurements of aerodynamic characteristics of an improved tracheostoma valve for laryngectomees

AA Geertsema*, MP de Vries, HK Schutte, J Lubbers, GJ Verkerke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Tracheostoma valves are often required in the rehabilitation process of speech after total laryngectomy. Patients are thus able to speak without using their hands to close the tracheostoma, The improved Groningen tracheostoma valve consists of a "cough" valve with an integrated ("speech") valve, which closes for phonation. The cough valve opens as the result of pressure produced by the lungs during a cough. The speech valve closes by the airflow produced by the lungs, thus directing air from the lungs into the esophagus at a deliberately chosen moment. An experimental setup with a computer-based acquisition program was developed to measure the pressure at which the cough valve opened and the flow at which the speech valve closed. In addition, the airflow resistance coefficient of the tracheostoma valve was defined and measured with an open speech valve. Both dry air from a cylinder and humid expired air were used. Results showed a pressure range of 1-7 kPa to open the cough valve and a flow range of 1.2-2.7 l/s to close the speech valve. These values were readily attained during speech, while the flow range occurred above values reached in quiet breathing. The device appeared to function well in physiological ranges and was optimally adjustable to an individual setting. No significant differences were measured between air from a cylinder and humid expired air. Findings showed that methods used to obtain results could be employed as a reference method for comparing aerodynamic characteristics of tracheostoma valves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-249
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May-1998


  • total laryngectomy
  • tracheostoma valves
  • voice prostheses
  • voice rehabilitation

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