Pharyngeal pressure generation during tongue-hold swallows across age groups

Sebastian Doeltgen, Phoebe Macrae, Maggie-Lee Huckabee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To compare the effects of the tongue-hold swallowing maneuver on pharyngeal pressure generation in healthy young and elderly research volunteers. Method: Sixty-eight healthy research volunteers (young, n = 34, mean age = 26.8 years, SD = 5.5; elderly, n = 34, mean age = 72.6 years, SD = 4.8; sex equally represented) performed 5 noneffortful saliva swallows and 5 tongue-hold swallows each. Amplitude and duration of pharyngeal pressure were investigated during both swallowing conditions with solid-state pharyngeal manometry at the level of the oropharynx, hypopharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter (UES). Results: At both pharyngeal levels, tongue-hold swallows produced lower peak pressure compared with saliva swallows. During tongue-hold swallows, UES relaxation pressure was increased in the elders, whereas the younger group displayed a trend toward reduced relaxation pressure. Elderly individuals produced pressure longer during control swallows in the oropharynx and hypopharynx than young individuals. Conclusions: The tongue-hold maneuver affects oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal pressure in the young and elders in similar ways, whereas effects on UES peak relaxation pressure differ between age groups. Reduced pharyngeal peak pressure and increased UES relaxation pressure underscore the notion that tongue-hold swallows should not be performed when bolus is present. Long-term training effects remain to be investigated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124-130
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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