Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OPD) is a challenging and relatively common condition in children. Both developmentally normal and delayed children may be affected. The etiology of OPD is frequently multifactorial with neurologic, inflammatory, and anatomic conditions contributing to discoordination of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. Depending on the severity and source, OPD may persist for several years with significant burden to a patient's health and family. This article details current understanding of the mechanism and potential sources of OPD in children while providing an algorithm for managing it in the acute and chronic setting.
Keywords: Aspiration; Children; Dysphagia; Microaspiration; Oropharyngeal dysphagia; Pediatric dysphagia; Pharyngeal; Swallowing disorders.
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