The Relationship Between Dysphagia With Aspiration and Respiratory Disease in Infants and Young Children The two primary functions of swallowing are to direct materials from the mouth to the stomach while keeping the airway protected and to provide the right types of liquids and foods to permit children to grow and develop normally and adults to stay healthy. Successful completion of these functions ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2003
The Relationship Between Dysphagia With Aspiration and Respiratory Disease in Infants and Young Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maureen Lefton-Greif
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Sharon McGrath
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Maureen Lefton-Greif is a speech-language pathologist and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is vice chair of the Inaugural Specialty Board in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. mlefton@jhmi.edu
  • Sharon McGrath is a pediatric pulmonologist and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. smorrow@jhmi.edu
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2003
The Relationship Between Dysphagia With Aspiration and Respiratory Disease in Infants and Young Children
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2003, Vol. 12, 12-17. doi:10.1044/sasd12.3.12
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2003, Vol. 12, 12-17. doi:10.1044/sasd12.3.12
The two primary functions of swallowing are to direct materials from the mouth to the stomach while keeping the airway protected and to provide the right types of liquids and foods to permit children to grow and develop normally and adults to stay healthy. Successful completion of these functions is dependent upon complex interactions between the deglutitory and respiratory systems. Significant disruptions in either system or in their coordination may result in a cascade of consequences. When dysphagia occurs in children with respiratory disease, it may further exacerbate pulmonary symptoms and result in nutritional compromise. Swallowing problems occur commonly in children with multiple underlying etiologies and, often, in medically fragile children (e.g., premature infants) where it may be just one component of a complex constellation of medical, health, and neurodevelopmental problems (Mercado-Deane et al., 2001; Newman, Keckley, Petersen, & Hamner, 2001). The purpose of this article is to review some of the factors contributing to the complex inter-relationships between swallowing dysfunction and respiration in infants and young children. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the most common form of chronic lung disease (CLD) in the pediatric population, will be discussed to illustrate some of these issues.
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