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Clin Nucl Med. 1993 Feb;18(2):110-4.

Using the radionuclide salivagram to detect pulmonary aspiration and esophageal dysmotility.

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Department of Radiology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC.


That the radionuclide "milk" scan is insensitive for aspiration has been demonstrated. Here the authors review their experience with the radionuclide salivagram in its ability to detect aspiration in children. Tc-99m sulfur colloid, 0.5 to 1.0 mCi in less than 1 mL, is instilled into the mouth and sequential supine posterior images of the thorax are obtained for an hour with delayed images until the oropharynx is cleared of radiotracer. Fourteen studies have been performed in 13 patients aged 1 month to 6.5 years. There are scintigraphic findings consistent with aspiration in 4 of 14 studies (28%); dysmotility (prolonged retention of activity in the esophagus) in 7 of 14 studies (50%); and normal studies in 3 of 13 patients (22%). Eight of 13 patients had milk scans; all were negative for aspiration. One patient studied twice had aspiration on the first examination, and dysmotility on the second study. It is concluded that the salivagram can detect aspiration of oral secretions, is superior to the milk scan in detecting aspiration, and can demonstrate esophageal dysmotility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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