Background: The primary function of the pharyngeal swallowing mechanism is to drive ingested materials into the esophagus. Currently, a definitive measure of pharyngeal bolus-driving function that accounts for bolus movement remains lacking. The primary objectives of this study were to describe the derivation of a novel biofluid dynamics measure of deglutition—that is, pharyngeal swallowing power (PSP)—and to demonstrate the consistency of PSP in normal swallowing. Methods: The pharyngeal swallowing mechanism was conceptualized as a hydraulic power system with the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) as a conduit. PSP was calculated as the product of bolus pressure and flow across the UES. Thirty-four young healthy subjects swallowed materials consisting of two bolus volumes (10, 20 mL) and four bolus viscosities (thin liquid, nectar-thick liquid, honey-thick liquid, pudding). High-resolution impedance manometry was used for data collection. The consistency of PSP across specific bolus conditions was evaluated using standardized Cronbach's coefficient alpha. Key Results: Standardized Cronbach's coefficient alphas in specific bolus conditions ranged between 0.85 and 0.93. Fisher weighted mean Cronbach's coefficient alphas for swallow trials across bolus volumes and across bolus viscosities ranged from 0.86 to 0.90. Fisher weighted mean Cronbach's coefficient alpha for overall consistency of PSP across all swallow trials was 0.88. Conclusions and Inferences: PSP estimates the output power of the pharyngeal bolus-driving mechanism during deglutition. PSP's high consistency indicates that it can be a useful biofluid dynamics measure of pharyngeal bolus-driving function. Current results also demonstrate that consistency in pharyngeal bolus propulsion is an important physiological target for the pharyngeal swallowing mechanism.
- high-resolution manometry
- multichannel intraluminal impedance
- swallowing power
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems