Using an Automated Speech Recognition Approach to Differentiate Between Normal and Aspirating Swallowing Sounds Recorded from Digital Cervical Auscultation in Children

Thuy T. Frakking, Anne B. Chang, Christopher Carty, Jade Newing, Kelly A. Weir, Belinda Schwerin, Stephen So

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    Abstract

    Use of machine learning to accurately detect aspirating swallowing sounds in children is an evolving field. Previously reported classifiers for the detection of aspirating swallowing sounds in children have reported sensitivities between 79 and 89%. This study aimed to investigate the accuracy of using an automatic speaker recognition approach to differentiate between normal and aspirating swallowing sounds recorded from digital cervical auscultation in children. We analysed 106 normal swallows from 23 healthy children (median 13 months; 52.1% male) and 18 aspirating swallows from 18 children (median 10.5 months; 61.1% male) who underwent concurrent videofluoroscopic swallow studies with digital cervical auscultation. All swallowing sounds were on thin fluids. A support vector machine classifier with a polynomial kernel was trained on feature vectors that comprised the mean and standard deviation of spectral subband centroids extracted from each swallowing sound in the training set. The trained support vector machine was then used to classify swallowing sounds in the test set. We found high accuracy in the differentiation of aspirating and normal swallowing sounds with 98% overall accuracy. Sensitivity for the detection of aspiration and normal swallowing sounds were 89% and 100%, respectively. There were consistent differences in time, power spectral density and spectral subband centroid features between aspirating and normal swallowing sounds in children. This study provides preliminary research evidence that aspirating and normal swallowing sounds in children can be differentiated accurately using machine learning techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalDysphagia
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2022

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