Blue Dye in the Evaluation of Dysphagia Some speech-language pathologists use blue dye during the assessment of patients with a tracheostomy via Modified Evans Blue Dye Test (MEBDT), as well as during endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Questions about the effectiveness and safety of this practice include: A review of the available literature, as well as discussion ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2002
Blue Dye in the Evaluation of Dysphagia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy B. Swigert
    Swigert & Associates, Inc., Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, KY
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2002
Blue Dye in the Evaluation of Dysphagia
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2002, Vol. 11, 4-6. doi:10.1044/sasd11.4.4
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2002, Vol. 11, 4-6. doi:10.1044/sasd11.4.4
Some speech-language pathologists use blue dye during the assessment of patients with a tracheostomy via Modified Evans Blue Dye Test (MEBDT), as well as during endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Questions about the effectiveness and safety of this practice include:
A review of the available literature, as well as discussion with other health care professionals (e.g., medicine, clinical nutrition), yields some helpful information for speech-language pathologists.
Let’s begin with a clarification about what blue dye is. When the term blue dye is used, it most often refers to FD & C Blue No. 1 or what is commonly referred to as “blue food coloring.” It was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1960s, based on animal tests, with the most recent safety testing completed in the 1980s (Food and Drug Administration, 1982). Methylene blue is another type of dye, but its chemical composition differs from Blue No. 1. Each is considered an artificial coloring, but each interacts differently at the cellular level (Maloney et al., 2002). Methylene blue is a guanylate cyclase inhibitor and has been used to treat certain medical conditions because of its hemodynamic effects (Koelzow, Gedney, Baumann, Snook, & Bellamy, 2002; Kirov et al., 2001; Lam, Lo, Liu, & Fan, 2001).
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