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Dysphagia. 2001 Spring;16(2):119-22.

Effect of liquid bolus consistency and delivery method on aspiration and pharyngeal retention in dysphagia patients.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Good Samaritan Hospital, 5601 Loch Raven Boulevard, Suite 406, Baltimore, MD 21239, USA.


There is no empirically derived consensus as to what food consistency types and method of food delivery (spoon, cup, straw) should be included in the videofluoroscopic swallowing (VFSS) studies. In the present study, we examine the rates of aspiration and pharyngeal retention in 190 dysphagic patients given thin (apple juice) and thick (apricot nectar) liquids delivered by teaspoon and cup and ultrathick (pudding-like) liquid delivered by teaspoon. Each patient was tested with each of the bolus/delivery method combinations. The fractions of patients exhibiting aspiration for each bolus/method of delivery combination were (1) thick liquids (cup), 13.2%; (2) thick liquids (spoon), 8.9%; (3) thin liquids (cup), 23.7%; (4) thin liquids (spoon), 15.8%, (5) ultrathick liquids (spoon), 5.8%. In each comparison [thick liquid (cup) vs. thick liquid (spoon), thin liquid (cup) vs. thin liquid (spoon), thick liquid (cup) vs. thin liquid (cup), thick liquid (spoon) vs. thin liquid (spoon), and thick liquid (spoon) vs. ultrathick liquid (spoon)], the p value for chi 2 was < 0.001. These results suggest that utilizing thin, thick, and ultrathick liquids and delivery by cup and spoon during a VFSS of a patient with mild or moderate dysphagia can increase the chances of identifying a consistency that the patient can swallow without aspirating and without pharyngeal retention after swallowing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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