Image_3_Methods for Measuring Swallowing Pressure Variability Using High-Resolution Manometry.TIF (2.9 MB)

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posted on 2018-07-02, 04:11 authored by Corinne A. Jones, Ellen L. Meisner, Courtney K. Broadfoot, Sarah P. Rosen, Christine R. Samuelsen, Timothy M. McCulloch

Any movement performed repeatedly will be executed with inter-trial variability. Oropharyngeal swallowing is a complex sensorimotor action, and swallow-to-swallow variability can have consequences that impact swallowing safety. Our aim was to determine an appropriate method to measure swallowing pressure waveform variability. An ideal variability metric must be sensitive to known deviations in waveform amplitude, duration, and overall shape, without being biased by waveforms that have both positive and sub-atmospheric pressure profiles. Through systematic analysis of model waveforms, we found a coefficient of variability (CV) parameter on waveforms adjusted such that the overall mean was 0 to be best suited for swallowing pressure variability analysis. We then investigated pharyngeal swallowing pressure variability using high-resolution manometry data from healthy individuals to assess impacts of waveform alignment, pharyngeal region, and number of swallows investigated. The alignment that resulted in the lowest overall swallowing pressure variability was when the superior-most sensor in the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) reached half its maximum pressure. Pressures in the tongue base region of the pharynx were least variable and pressures in the hypopharynx region were most variable. Sets of 3–10 consecutive swallows had no overall difference in variability, but sets of two swallows resulted in significantly less variability than the other dataset sizes. This study identified variability in swallowing pressure waveform shape throughout the pharynx in healthy adults; we discuss implications for swallowing motor control.