Incidence of abnormal laryngeal findings in asymptomatic singing students

D. S. Lundy, R. R. Casiano, P. A. Sullivan, S. Roy, J. W. Xue, J. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Abnormalities in the mucosal lining of the vocal folds may interfere with the normal vibratory patterns and result in vocal limitations, especially for singers whose demands are great. A prospective, longitudinal study was undertaken to investigate the incidence of laryngeal abnormalities in asymptomatic singing students. METHODS: Sixty-five singing students at the school of music underwent videostroboscopic evaluation and completed a comprehensive questionnaire. Videos were rated by 3 experienced clinicians, and interrater reliability was calculated. Results were correlated with demographic factors, background medical history, and singing history. RESULTS: Five students (8.3%) exhibited early signs of benign vocal fold lesions (2 with nodules and 3 with cysts). A high incidence of posterior erythema (n = 44; 73.4%), suggesting possible reflux, was found. CONCLUSIONS: A surprisingly high number of otherwise asymptomatic singing students demonstrated abnormal laryngeal findings. Their relationship with vocal performance will be addressed as well as implications for preventative measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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