Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Apr;47(4):321-37. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21576. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Dysphagia and aspiration in children.

Author information

Program in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, LeBonheur Children's Hospital, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38103, USA.


Aspiration is a significant cause of respiratory morbidity and sometimes mortality in children. It occurs when airway protective reflexes fail, especially, when dysphagia is also present. Clinical symptoms and physical findings of aspiration can be nonspecific. Advances in technology can lead to early diagnosis of dysphagia and aspiration, and, new therapeutic advances can significantly improve outcome and prognosis. This report first reviews the anatomy and physiology involved in the normal process of swallowing. Next, the protective reflexes that help to prevent aspiration are discussed followed by the pathophysiologic events that occur after an aspiration event. Various disease processes that can result in dysphagia and aspiration in children are discussed. Finally, the various methods for diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia in children are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center