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Riemann, Max; Knipfer, Christian; Rohde, Maximilian; Adler, Werner; Schuster, Maria; Noeth, Elmar; Oetter, Nico; Shams, Nima; Neukam, Friedrich-Wilhelm and Stelzle, Florian (2016): Oral squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue: Prospective and objective speech evaluation of patients undergoing surgical therapy. In: Head and Neck: Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck, Vol. 38, No. 7: pp. 993-1001

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Background. Prospective speech intelligibility assessments lack objectivity in patients undergoing surgery for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) of the tongue. Methods. Speech intelligibility was measured based on word recognition by means of an automatic and objective speech recognition system preoperatively, and 14 to 20 days, and 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months postoperatively. The study comprised 25 patients with OSCC of the tongue and a healthy control group (n=40). Results. Patients yielded significant speech impairments compared to the healthy control group both before surgery and after 12 months (p <=.002). The speech intelligibility of the patients decreased significantly 14 to 20 days after surgery (p<.001) but realigned to preoperative values after 12 months (p=.159). Preservation of the tip of the tongue resulted in significantly higher word recognition after 12 months (p=.007;Dword recognition=16.29). Conclusion. Having OSSC of the tongue results in a significant impairment of speech intelligibility. The preservation of the tip of the tongue seems to be a central factor concerning the recovery of speech. (C) 2015 Wiley-Blackwell.

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