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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Feb;56(1):173-90, xi. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2008.10.013.

Aspiration lung disease.

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Division of Pediatric Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Salesi Children's University Hospital, Ancona, Italy.


The term aspiration lung disease describes several clinical syndromes, with massive aspiration and chronic lung aspiration being at two extremes of the clinical spectrum. Over the years, significant advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying dysphagia, gastroesophageal function, and airway protective reflexes and new diagnostic techniques have been introduced. Despite this, characterizing the presence or absence of aspiration, and under what circumstances a child might be aspirating what, is extremely challenging. Many children are still not adequately diagnosed or treated for aspiration until permanent lung damage has occurred. A multidisciplinary approach is mandatory for a correct diagnosis in addition to timely and appropriate care.

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