Lateral pharyngeal wall motion during swallowing using real time ultrasound

Dysphagia. Summer 1997;12(3):125-32. doi: 10.1007/PL00009526.


B-mode ultrasound imaging has been used primarily to detect temporal and spatial movements of the tongue during the oral preparatory and oral stages of swallowing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the application of M-mode (motion mode) ultrasound imaging as a method to quantify the duration and displacement of single regions along the lateral pharyngeal wall during swallows of two bolus volumes and during three swallow maneuvers (supraglottic, super-supraglottic and Mendelsohn maneuver). In 5 normal subjects, simultaneous B/M-mode images were captured at two regions along the lateral pharyngeal wall. Computer-assisted video analysis of each swallow sequence provided spatial coordinates and durational measures. Results indicated no significant differences in displacements of the lateral pharyngeal wall across bolus volumes, swallow maneuvers, or recording sites. Significant differences (p < 0.001) in lateral pharyngeal wall duration occurred as a function of volitional swallow maneuvers. Greater durations (p < 0.05) were found for the Mendelsohn and super-supraglottic swallow maneuvers. The data demonstrate that B/M-mode ultrasound imaging provides a simple, noninvasive method to visually examine movements of the lateral pharyngeal wall and may provide a clinical method for assessing the effects of direct swallowing therapies at the level of the mid-oropharynx.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Deglutition / physiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Muscles / physiology
  • Pharynx / diagnostic imaging
  • Pharynx / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography