Research Corner: Characteristics of children at risk of aspiration pneumonia

Pavithran, J., Puthiyottil, I. V., Narayan, M., Vidhyadharan, S., Menon, J. R., & Iyer, S. (2018). Observations from a pediatric dysphagia clinic: Characteristics of children at risk of aspiration pneumonia. The Laryngoscope.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records of 88 children referred to the dysphagia clinic who had undergone videofluroscopic swallow study (VFSS).

 Results: Oropharyngeal dysphagia was found in 61.3% (54 of 88). Incidence of aspiration pneumonia was 39.8% (35 of 88).

Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms such as cough, choking, excessive secretions, and pharyngeal dysmotility other than aspiration in VFSS were not predictors of pneumonia. Infants and children with laryngotracheal anomalies, demonstrable aspiration in VFSS, and major cardiac illness are at risk of presenting with aspiration pneumonia. Whether gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or esophageal dysmotility are causative of aspiration in the rest of the population needs to be investigated by future prospective studies.


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