Characteristics of dysphagia in children with cerebral palsy

Dysphagia. Winter 1994;9(1):69-73. doi: 10.1007/BF00262762.


Videofluoroscopic modified barium swallow (VMBS) examinations may provide clinically relevant information regarding deglutition in children with cerebral palsy and dysphagia. A retrospective review of clinical evaluations and VMBS studies on 90 consecutive children with cerebral palsy and dysphagia was completed. Most children were referred because of concerns regarding airway protection during oral feedings. Most children had multiple disabilities and 93% were nonambulatory. The majority of children were totally dependent for oral feedings (80%). Oral and pharyngeal phase abnormalities were present in almost all patients. Abnormalities of deglutition were observed only while swallowing specific food textures in the majority of patients. Aspiration of specific food textures was significantly more common than aspiration of all food textures (p < 0.0001). Finally, aspiration was silent in 97% of the patients. VMBS studies can provide clinicians with valuable information regarding the most appropriate food textures and rates of oral feeding for children with cerebral palsy and dysphagia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Barium Sulfate / administration & dosage
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cineradiography / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Food
  • Gastrostomy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mouth / physiology
  • Pharynx / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Video Recording


  • Barium Sulfate