Concordance Between Aspiration Detected on Upper Gastrointestinal Series and Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study in Bottle-Fed Children

Renee Flax-Goldenberg, Kopal S. Kulkarni, Kathryn A. Carson, Jeanne M. Pinto, Bonnie Martin-Harris, Maureen A. Lefton-Greif*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The increasing incidence of pediatric dysphagia has raised questions about how to identify children at risk for aspiration. Multiple investigative imaging modalities are considered in diagnostic algorithms, since dysphagia may involve any or all phases of swallowing. Although upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series and videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) are common procedures, the utility of UGI for detection of aspiration and the impact of oropharyngeal imaging during UGI on radiation exposure have not been well described. We hypothesized that diagnosis of aspiration on UGI would be predictive of aspiration on VFSS and screening swallows during UGI would increase radiation exposure. A retrospective review was completed of bottle-fed children undergoing UGI series within 1 month before/after standardized VFSS. UGI was imaged at 3 frames per second (fps) pulsed and VFSS at 30 fps continuous fluoroscopy. Cumulative radiation dose (CD) and dose area product (DAP) were recorded. VFSS and UGI were performed in 49 patients; however, only 21 (43 %) had documentation of swallow function on an UGI series. All children with aspiration on UGI demonstrated thin liquid aspiration on VFSS; however, 53 % without aspiration on UGI aspirated on VFSS. CD for UGI with versus without swallowing documentation was significantly higher (median = 0.33 vs. 0.21 mGy, p = 0.02) but within variability ranges reported for fluoroscopy equipment. DAP was not significantly higher for UGI with documentation of swallowing compared to without documentation of swallowing (median = 4.11 vs. 3.02 μGy cm2, p = 0.09). UGI findings are specific but not sensitive markers for aspiration on VFSS. Imaging of swallowing on UGI may have an appreciable increase on radiation exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Aspiration
  • Children
  • Deglutition
  • Radiation dosage
  • UGI
  • VFSS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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