Ultrasound Imaging and Swallowing
Ultrasound imaging is uniquely suited for investigating soft tissue structures. This modality has been used successfully to view the thyroid, abdomen, fetus, heart, bladder, and genitalia, and to visualize muscles and soft tissue tumors (1–3). Because of its inherent advantages (Table 8.1), this technique was recently adapted for viewing the oral cavity during swallowing (4–7). Ultrasound is totally noninvasive and thus studies can be performed repeatedly or for extended periods of time without risk of future tissue change. Because ultrasound is basically risk free, it should be used when studying infants and young children. Furthermore, because of the transduction properties of sound waves, various soft tissues can be distinguished from fluids, semisolids, and solid materials. Thus, no contrast material is needed to visualize the oropharynx and, in the case of swallowing, normal foods can be used during a study.
KeywordsOral Cavity Vocal Fold Hyoid Bone Thyroid Cartilage Transverse View
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