This review article aims to demonstrate the clinical potential of Automated Impedance Manometry (AIM) as a new, non-radiological technique for screening and diagnosis of oro-pharyngeal dysphagia. An integrated – rather than separate – analysis of pressure and impedance patterns generated in the pharynx when swallowing a food bolus, can be a useful complement to the radiological investigations considered as gold standard today. Major advantages are the objective nature of this technique and the fully automated calculation of various swallow parameters. A global measure of swallowing function can be derived (a Swallow Risk Index, SRI) and is related to (the severity of) the risk of aspiration and the presence of pharyngeal post-swallow residue. It was shown that aspiration on videofluoroscopy was accurately detected by using AIM with a sensitivity of 0.88 and a specificity of 0.96. AIM analysis can be performed quickly and is reliable in the hands of different end users. Various parameters are sufficiently sensitive to detect changes in bolus consistency and – as was recently found – are influenced by swallowing manoeuvers. Furthermore, different patterns of deviant swallow parameters can be found in different patient populations. Whether this observation can provide specific diagnoses and – as a consequence – more targeted treatments is currently under investigation.
- High resolution manometry
- Intraluminal impedance measurements
- Swallow function assessment
- Swallowing disorders