Deep laryngeal penetration as a predictor of aspiration

Dysphagia. Summer 2000;15(3):153-8. doi: 10.1007/s004550010018.


Very little has been written about laryngeal penetration as a separate diagnostic event from aspiration. Laryngeal penetration has been described as an infrequent event in adult individuals without swallowing problems. This study describes the incidence of laryngeal penetration in 125 dysphagic children ranging in age from 7 days to 19 years who were seen over a 6-month period at The Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Laryngeal penetration was identified in 60% of the study group, with 31% demonstrating deep laryngeal penetration. Of the children exhibiting deep laryngeal penetration, 85% aspirated, suggesting a strong correlation between these two events. It was noted that children exhibiting deep laryngeal penetration often began to aspirate further into their feedings. Use of extended feedings during videofluoroscopy is discussed as a diagnostic strategy in the presence of deep laryngeal penetration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Larynx / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index