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Semin Speech Lang. 2007 Aug;28(3):166-79.

Deglutition and respiration: development, coordination, and practical implications.

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Department of Pediatrics, Eudowood Division of Pediatric Respiratory Sciences, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Temporal coordination of deglutition and respiration is essential for survival because both functions share the pharynx as a common pathway. Disruptions in this interface in young infants may result in dysphagia that may lead to aspiration and injury to the developing lung. Likewise, respiratory problems may contribute to the development of swallowing problems. This article focuses on the coordination between swallowing and breathing in infants and children, aspiration during periods of postnatal lung development and airway protective mechanisms. Identification of infants and children at increased risk for oropharyngeal dysphagia and respiratory disease is critical for optimal intervention. Assessment and management considerations are described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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