Physiological Flow of Liquids in Healthy Swallowing

2019-10-09 09:21:34 | BioPortfolio


Thickened liquids are commonly used as an intervention for people with dysphagia (swallowing impairment). However, the field currently lacks a proper understanding of how this intervention works. The overall goal of the project is to collect measurements of liquid flow through the oropharynx (i.e., mouth and throat) during swallowing. The factors that are expected to influence liquid flow include the liquid consistency (i.e., thin, slightly-thick, mildly-thick, moderately-thick, extremely thick) and the forces applied during swallowing (i.e., tongue pressures and swallowing muscle contraction). The objective is to determine how these factors interact to influence the flow of a liquid through the oropharynx in healthy swallowing.


The aims of this study are as follows:

Aim 1: To determine the relationship between bolus flow and healthy swallowing physiology. The investigators will collect concurrent videofluoroscopic and physiological measures of swallowing (tongue pressure, electromyography [sEMG]) in healthy adults using barium stimuli across the continuum of liquid consistency (thin, slightly thick, mildly thick, moderately thick and extremely thick liquids, as defined by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative, Significance: This will show the impact of consistency on bolus flow through the oropharynx, controlling for the forces used to initiate flow and propel the bolus.

Aim 2: To compare healthy swallowing physiology for barium versus non-barium stimuli. The investigators will collect physiological measures of swallowing using barium and non-barium stimuli matched for consistency. Significance: This will determine how swallowing behaviors (tongue pressures, sEMG) differ between barium and non-barium stimuli with matched consistency, enabling us to develop models of flow accounting for these differences.

Study Design




Starch-thickened liquids, Xanthan-gum thickened liquids


Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
M5G 2A2




University Health Network, Toronto

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-09T09:21:34-0400

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