Nonlinear acoustic analysis in the evaluation of occupational voice disorders
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Klinika Audiologii i Foniatrii / Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics)
Politechnika Łódzka / Technical University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland (Instytut Elektroniki / Institute of Electronics)
Ewa Niebudek-Bogusz   

Klinika Audiologii i Foniatrii, Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera w Łodzi, ul św. Teresy, 91-348 Łódź
Med Pr 2013;64(1):29–35
Background: Over recent years numerous papers have stressed that production of voice is subjected to the nonlinear processes, which cause aperiodic vibrations of vocal folds. These vibrations cannot always be characterized by means of conventional acoustic parameters, such as measurements of frequency and amplitude perturbations. Thus, special attention has recently been paid to nonlinear acoustic methods. The aim of this study was to assess the applicability of nonlinear cepstral analysis, including the evaluation of mel cepstral coefficients (MFCC), in diagnosing occupational voice disorders. Material and methods: The study involved 275 voice samples of pathologic voice (sustained vowel "a" and four standardized sentences) registered in female teachers with the occupation-related benign vocal fold masses (BVFM), such as vocal nodules, polyps, and 200 voice samples of normal voices from the control group of females. The mean age of patients and controls was similar (45 vs. 43 years). Voice samples from both groups were analyzed, including MFCC evaluation. Results: MFCC classification using the Sammon Mapping and Support Vector Machines yielded a considerable accuracy of the test. Voice pathologies were detected in 475 registered voice samples: for vowel "a" with 86% sensitivity and 90% specificity, and for the examined sentences the corresponding values varied between 87% and 100%, respectively. Conclusions: Nonlinear voice analysis with application of mel cepstral coefficients could be a useful and objective tool for confirming occupational-related lesions of the glottis. Further studies addressing this problem are being carried out. Med Pr 2013;64(1):29–35