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Study of voice disorders in patients with bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchial asthma are known to cause adverse effects on voice, which might affect the quality of life of an individual.


The study was designed to study the voice disorders in patients with COPD and bronchial asthma and its relation to disease severity and medication.

Patients and methods

Totally, 60 patients were recruited: 30 stable bronchial asthma patients and 30 stable COPD patients. All participants underwent spirometry and study of voice parameters using auditory perceptual assessment, videolaryngostroboscopy system, voice recording, and acoustic analysis.


Impaired voice quality and various grades of dysphonia were detected in the COPD group in 30% by means of auditory perceptual assessment; structural changes in the vocal folds (diffuse congestion, unhealthy mucosa, and edema) were detected in 36.6%. In the bronchial asthma group, impaired voice quality and various grades of dysphonia were detected in 16.7% and structural changes were detected in 20% of them, whereas acoustic analysis showed a highly significant increase in jitter and shimmer and decreased harmonic-to-noise ratio in 100% of patients of both groups. These changes were greater in metered dose inhaler users than in dry-powder inhaler users. In the bronchial asthma group, fluticasone propionate users had a significantly decreased harmonic-to-noise ratio compared with beclomethasone dipropionate and budesonide users, as well as the least pitch and highest shimmer and jitter. A significant statistical correlation was found between ipratropium inhalation usage and increased shimmer in the COPD group. There was a highly significant correlation between spirometric severity and both grade of dysphonia and character of voice in bronchial asthma patients.


All COPD and bronchial asthma patients had dysphonia, either due to organic causes or due to functional causes. Voice changes were directly correlated with degree of severity and fluticasone propionate inhalation use in bronchial asthma patients, and with ipratropium bromide inhalation in the COPD group.


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Correspondence to Shymaa E. Mohammed MSc.

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Saeed, A.M., Riad, N.M., Osman, N.M. et al. Study of voice disorders in patients with bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Egypt J Bronchol 12, 20–26 (2018).

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Key words

  • bronchial asthma
  • COPD
  • voice changes