Analysis of pressure generation and bolus transit during pharyngeal swallowing
Current pharyngeal deglutition theory has stressed the role of the pharyngeal constrictors as producing a peristaltic wave responsible for bolus propulsion through the pharynx. This thesis presents data obtained using manofluorography which supports the significance of tongue and laryngeal motion in swallowing. The usage of the term peristalsis to describe the constrictor contraction is challenged. The results of this quantitative study of swallowing in normal subjects, laryngectomized patients, and patients with restricted tongue motion show that tongue driving pressure and the negative pressure developed in the pharyngeal esophageal segment appear more important than the peristaltic-like pressure of the constrictors. Bolus transit is really dependent upon these two pressures. This model for analysis has clinical significance because it permits quantification of the pharyngeal swallowing mechanism.