Effect of Tracheotomy Tube Occlusion on Upper Esophageal Sphincter and Pharyngeal Pressures in Aspirating and Nonaspirating Patients
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The biomechanics of the pharyngeal swallow in patients with a tracheotomy tube were investigated with manometry. Upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and pharyngeal pressure recordings were made with and without occlusion of the tracheotomy tube. Criteria for selection were ability to tolerate tracheotomy tube occlusion for both 5 minutes prior to and during the first manometric analysis, absence of surgery to the upper aerodigestive tract other than tracheotomy, and no history of oropharyngeal cancer or stroke. Aspiration was determined objectively by fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) immediately prior to manometric recording. Eleven adult individuals with tracheotomy participated; 7 swallowed successfully and 4 exhibited aspiration on FEES. The results indicated no significant effect of tracheotomy tube occlusion on UES or pharyngeal pressures in either aspirating or nonaspirating patients. It was concluded that the biomechanics of the swallow as determined by UES and pharyngeal manometric pressure measurements were not changed significantly by tracheotomy tube occlusion in aspirating or nonaspirating patients. These results support previous observations that subjects either aspirated or swallowed successfully regardless of tracheotomy tube occlusion status.
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