Effects of lingual effort on swallow pressures following radiation treatment

Kerry Lenius, Julie Stierwalt, Leonard L. LaPointe, Michelle Bourgeois, Giselle Carnaby, Michael Crary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: This article investigated the effects of increased oral lingual pressure on pharyngeal pressures during swallowing in patients who have undergone radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. It was hypothesized that increased oral lingual pressure would result in increased pharyngeal pressures. Method: A within-subject experimental design was used with 20 participants who were status post external beam radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Participants completed typical swallows and swallows with increased lingual force during manofluoroscopic swallow studies. The swallow condition order was randomized across participants. Results: Manometric data revealed significant differences in swallow pressure by condition at the base of tongue and upper esophageal sphincter sensor locations without significant pressure differences in the lower pharynx. The effortful lingual swallows resulted in higher mean pressures at all locations. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that use of a maneuver designed to increase oral tongue effort can also increase pharyngeal tongue base pressure. Therefore, therapeutic activities used to generate greater pressure of the oral tongue may also alter pharyngeal response. Further research is needed to determine the direct clinical effect on swallow function for individuals with head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-697
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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