High-resolution manometry: what about the pharynx?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

High-resolution pharyngeal manometry (HRPM) is a well tolerated, catheter-based, method for recording the pressures and bolus flow generated by the pharyngeal muscles during swallowing. Despite a body of published evidence and a critical mass of investigators in the field, there is a lack of consensus surrounding what biomechanical phenomena to measure. The purpose of this review is to provide some insights into the information on swallowing physiology that can be gathered using HRPM.

Recent findings

HRPM literature has focused on measuring biomechanical phenomena that may be relevant to measure in relation to dysphagia research. This review focuses on the measurement of pharyngeal luminal occlusive forces, intrabolus distension pressure, bolus presence and bolus flow timing as key features of pharyngeal swallowing that require measurement and allow for derivation of the Swallow Risk Index, a global measure of swallow function indicative of swallowing functional reserve.

Summary

HRPM allows objective derivation of measures of swallow function that may have value for diagnosis and research in relation to swallowing disorders. HRPM has demonstrated clinical applicability in specific patient populations and offers unique advantages that compliment current assessment methods.

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