2020 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 18-22
This study used 320-row area detector computed tomography (320-ADCT) to determine whether kinematic swallowing events and bolus movement through the oropharynx are affected by bolus consistency and angle of recline. Fourteen healthy adults (4 men, 10 women; age, 22-90 years) underwent 320-ADCT assessment during three 10-mL barium swallow tests, with honey-thick liquid at 60° recline (60°thick), thin liquid at 60° recline (60°thin), and thin liquid at 45° recline (45°thin). The times of swallowing events were measured and compared among the different tests. Bolus propulsion, onset time of true vocal cord (TVC) closure, and upper esophageal sphincter opening were significantly earlier for 60°thin than for 60°thick. Onset time did not significantly differ between 60°thin and 45°thin; however, greater variability was noted for onset of TVC closure with 45°thin, as the TVC started to close before onset of swallowing in 30% of participants. Modulation of TVC closure depends on bolus transport in different reclining positions. The 45° reclining position elicited pre-swallow TVC closure in some participants, which suggests that excessive recline can increase perceived risk of airway invasion during swallowing.