Skip to Content
Authors Walczak CC, Jones CA, McCulloch TM
Author Profile(s)
Journal Dysphagia Volume: 32 Issue: 1 Pages: 104-114
Publish Date 2017 Feb
PubMed ID 27565155

Determining intrabolus pressure (IBP) at the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and in the esophagus has given compelling evidence that IBP can be a predictor for swallowing dysfunction. Studies have looked most superiorly at the low hypopharynx region but there has been no inquiry into what IBP measures throughout the entire pharynx can tell us. We present a study to describe the pressures within and surrounding the moving bolus throughout the pharynx and into the UES. Simultaneous high-resolution manometry (HRM) and videofluoroscopy were performed in ten healthy subjects swallowing ten 10 mL thin-liquid barium boluses. Three events surrounding bolus movement were tracked via videofluoroscopy, and two additional events were found using manometric measures. As the bolus passes through the pharynx, low pressure is created at and below the head of the bolus. A modest pressure increase is seen as the bolus passes through the pharynx, and finally, high pressure is observed at the bolus tail, followed by an even larger pressure generation of a clearance event. HRM allows for greater resolution in data collection in the pharynx and in this study, aided in identifying semi-unique characteristics around the hypopharynx and the UES which are consistent with the complex anatomy of the regions and the transition of the UES from active closure to relaxed opening. In the future, additional studies designed to look at aged and diseased populations may lead to better understanding of disease etiology, and treatment options. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System