Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1997 Sep 18;41(3):353-61.

The use of the salivagram in the evaluation of severe and chronic aspiration.

Author information

Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA.


Chronic salivary aspiration may be responsible for a significant percentage of pneumonia in the neurologically impaired child. The radionuclide salivagram (RS), a simple investigative study, can document salivary aspiration as the source of pulmonary contamination. The purpose of this study was to determine if the results of the RS would accurately identify children with severe and chronic salivary aspiration who would benefit from laryngotracheal separation (LTS). We reviewed 30 records of children with chronic aspiration pneumonitis who underwent LTS between 1988 and 1996. We recorded the number of inpatient days required for respiratory infections before and after LTS. This number was compared with the number of inpatient days for respiratory infection from children (n = 27) who underwent the RS during a ten-month period but who were never referred for LTS. Fifteen children who underwent LTS had a preoperative RS. The RS documented salivary aspiration in 11 of these children. Aspiration was effectively controlled by LTS for this group. There were three studies that failed to show either aspiration or progression of the Technetium 99m sulfur colloid (Tc 99m SC) into the esophagus This finding was felt to represent significant swallowing dysfunction and, therefore, was also considered a positive finding. There was a significant difference in the number of inpatient days for children who had a negative RS and were never referred for LTS when compared with the number of inpatient days for those children who had a positive RS and were referred for LTS. We feel that the RS is an effective tool to document salivary aspiration as the source of recurrent pneumonia. A modification of the technique and interpretation of RS is suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center