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South Med J. 1993 Jul;86(7):789-95.

Chronic pulmonary aspiration in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama, Birmingham.


According to established diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for chronic pulmonary aspiration, clinical suspicion is raised by coughing and choking with feeding, coughing during sleep, recurrent pneumonia, failure to thrive, and radiologic signs of chronic lung injury. The upper gastrointestinal series accurately defines anatomy and function, can differentiate between direct and reflux aspiration, and identifies conditions that predispose to aspiration. Gastroesophageal scintigraphy lacks anatomic detail but increases observation time, may differentiate between direct and reflux aspiration, and identifies delayed gastric emptying and gastroesophageal reflux. The lipid-laden macrophage index improves identification of aspiration, but cannot differentiate between direct and reflux aspiration. The esophageal pH probe identifies gastroesophageal reflux. Treatment options include medical therapy (thickened feedings, prone positioning, and metoclopramide) and surgical intervention (gastrostomy, fundoplication, and definitive correction of predisposing conditions). Therapy is determined by severity of illness and results of diagnostic evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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