Aspiration: Cause and implications

Donna S. Lundy, Christine Smith, Laura Colangelo, Paula A. Sullivan, Jerilyn A. Logemann, Cathy L. Lazarus, Lisa A. Newman, Tom Murry, Lori Lombard, Joy Gaziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the overall prevalence of aspiration in dysphagic individuals referred for a modified barium swallow and the underlying anatomic and/or physiologic causes. A total of 166 patients were seen during a 1-month period at 5 participating institutions. Aspiration was detected in 51.2% of the patients. The most common causes were decreased laryngeal elevation and delayed triggering of the pharyngeal motor response. A history of aspiration pneumonia was significantly associated with the presence of aspiration on modified barium swallow study. The presence of a protective cough was present in only 53% of patients who aspirated, reinforcing the need for appropriate radiologic assessment in patients with suspected dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-478
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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