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Free Content Velopharyngeal Dysfunction: What a Radiologist Must Know

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Velopharyngeal dysfunction is caused by many unrelated etiologies and results in the inadequate closure of the muscular ring that separates the nasopharynx from the rest of the airway during speech and deglutition. Clinical management of velopharyngeal dysfunction is multidisciplinary and challenging. Among the available imaging modalities, cine MR imaging plays a crucial role in evaluation. Comprehensive radiology literature on this subject is sparse. In this article, we illustrate the radiologic anatomy of the velopharyngeal sphincter, provide a clinical background of velopharyngeal dysfunction, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the available imaging techniques, and reflect on nonsurgical and surgical management.

Learning Objectives: 1) To understand the MR imaging anatomy of the velopharyngeal sphincter and the complementary role of real-time cine MR imaging to the clinical and endoscopic evaluation of velopharyngeal dysfunction. 2) To become familiar with protocols and techniques of real-time cine MR imaging for evaluating velopharyngeal dysfunction.
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Keywords: VPD = velopharyngeal dysfunction; VPS = velopharyngeal sphincter

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • Neurographics is the peer-reviewed, bimonthly educational journal of the American Society of Neuroradiology. The journal comprises articles selected from material presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting. Neurographics also publishes other high-quality submissions that are primarily educational and have a high emphasis on a pictorial approach. Neurographics offers CME credit for reading review articles and completing quiz-based self-assessment activities. CME credit for review articles may be claimed up to 3 years after an article's publication date. Visit https://members.asnr.org/webcast/content/course_list.asp?src=Neurographics to view all available CME courses.
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