The Aerodigestive Clinic: Multidisciplinary Management of Pediatric Dysphagia The purposes of this article are (a) to explore the relationship between pediatric upper airway obstruction and dysphagia and (b) to highlight the benefits of using a multidisciplinary approach when assessing infants and children with upper respiratory and swallowing disorders. The functions of breathing and swallowing are tightly coordinated in ... Student Abstracts
Student Abstracts  |   October 01, 2008
The Aerodigestive Clinic: Multidisciplinary Management of Pediatric Dysphagia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura Haibeck
    Department of Audiology and Communication Disorders, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • David L. Mandell
    Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Student Abstracts   |   October 01, 2008
The Aerodigestive Clinic: Multidisciplinary Management of Pediatric Dysphagia
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2008, Vol. 17, 101-109. doi:10.1044/sasd17.3.101
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2008, Vol. 17, 101-109. doi:10.1044/sasd17.3.101
Abstract

The purposes of this article are (a) to explore the relationship between pediatric upper airway obstruction and dysphagia and (b) to highlight the benefits of using a multidisciplinary approach when assessing infants and children with upper respiratory and swallowing disorders. The functions of breathing and swallowing are tightly coordinated in infants and young children, and pediatric upper airway disorders can often adversely affect the swallowing mechanism and may even predispose the individual to aspiration. Some of the more common causes of pediatric airway obstruction seen in this setting are laryngomalacia, vocal fold paralysis, laryngeal cleft, and Pierre Robin's sequence. In the setting of all of these disorders, associations may also exist with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and laryngopharyngeal reflux, and this topic is also reviewed. In the multidisciplinary assessment of young children with aerodigestive disorders, fiberoptic flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing has gained traction as a useful test for simultaneous evaluation of pediatric upper airway obstruction and dysphagia and has provided complimentary information to the more traditional pediatric videofluoroscopic swallowing evaluation. A representative case study is provided that illustrates the relationship between pediatric upper airway obstruction and dysphagia and demonstrates the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach.

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