Swallowing problem

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I had a test done of rapid sequence filming of the cervical esophagus was performed during swallowing. Frontal and lateral projections were obtained. These demonstrate no anatomic abnormalities of the cervical esophagus, although trace penetration was observed. My question is what is this trace penetration mean? The nurse practioner stated that sometimes some liquid goes down wrong pipe. Hopefully you can give me more insite on this. Jimmy D Jones 7700 Odell Ave, Bridgeview, Il 60455 Thank you

James P Thomas MD's picture
Submitted by James P Thomas MD on Sat, 2012-04-07 11:59

Dear Mr. Jones,
Your question is a good one and certainly one that the physician who reads your test should be able to interpret for you. Since x-ray contrast material going into the larynx is generally the wrong place for liquids, physicians and speech therapists often described this as penetration. However, the amount and the degree are important. In fact, when I look at swallowing, I show patients my video exam and answer questions such as yours.