Simultaneous modified barium swallow and blue dye tests: a determination of the accuracy of blue dye test aspiration findings

Dysphagia. 2003 Winter;18(1):32-8. doi: 10.1007/s00455-002-0081-4.


The overall objective of this pilot study was to determine blue dye test reliability and validity for the identification of aspiration of secretions, food, and/or drink in 50 simultaneously administered blue dye (BDT) and modified barium swallow (MBS) tests of tracheostomized individuals. With the MBS as an objective test of aspiration, BDT sensitivity and specificity identifying aspiration were less than 80% and 62%, respectively. Certain tracheostomy tube conditions and food consistencies were associated with more accurate BDT aspiration results than others. Characteristics of the aspiration episodes, interpretation of the results, and needs for further research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barium* / administration & dosage
  • Coloring Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhalation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tracheostomy / adverse effects*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Barium