Voice disorder in systemic lupus erythematosus.

PLoS ONE. 2017;12(4):e0175893 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0175893

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Milena S F C de Macedo
KauĂȘ M Costa
Manoel da Silva Filho

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease characterized by progressive tissue damage. In recent decades, novel treatments have greatly extended the life span of SLE patients. This creates a high demand for identifying the overarching symptoms associated with SLE and developing therapies that improve their life quality under chronic care. We hypothesized that SLE patients would present dysphonic symptoms. Given that voice disorders can reduce life quality, identifying a potential SLE-related dysphonia could be relevant for the appraisal and management of this disease. We measured objective vocal parameters and perceived vocal quality with the GRBAS (Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, Strain) scale in SLE patients and compared them to matched healthy controls. SLE patients also filled a questionnaire reporting perceived vocal deficits. SLE patients had significantly lower vocal intensity and harmonics to noise ratio, as well as increased jitter and shimmer. All subjective parameters of the GRBAS scale were significantly abnormal in SLE patients. Additionally, the vast majority of SLE patients (29/36) reported at least one perceived vocal deficit, with the most prevalent deficits being vocal fatigue (19/36) and hoarseness (17/36). Self-reported voice deficits were highly correlated with altered GRBAS scores. Additionally, tissue damage scores in different organ systems correlated with dysphonic symptoms, suggesting that some features of SLE-related dysphonia are due to tissue damage. Our results show that a large fraction of SLE patients suffers from perceivable dysphonia and may benefit from voice therapy in order to improve quality of life.