Physiology of oropharyngeal swallow in the cat: A videofluoroscopic and electromyographic study

M. Kobara-Mates, J. A. Logemann*, C. Larson, P. J. Kahrilas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The majority of animal studies of deglutition have examined electrically stimulated swallows in sedated animals. This present investigation examined oropharyngeal and cervical esophageal swallow physiology in three awake normal domestic cats using concurrent electromyography (EMG) and videofluorography (VFG). Hooked wire electrodes were surgically implanted into six oropharyngeal muscles in each cat. During collection of VFG and EMG data, each cat ate barium-impregnated cat food while the fluorography tube focused on a lateral view of the oral cavity, pharynx, and cervical esophagus. A number of significant differences in the physiology of swallowing were found between the cat and human adult. The oral stage of swallow is much longer in the cat with bolus accumulation in the valleculae. Duration and components of the pharyngeal stage of swallow are much faster, and the pharyngeal stage occurs earlier in relation to bolus passage through the ocicopharyngeus. In addition, the cat exhibits a marked superior constrictor bulge at the onset of the pharyngeal contractile wave and summation of the peristaltic waves in the esophagus, whereas the human adult does not. Feline swallow physiology is more similar to that of the human infant than that of human adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G232-G241
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2 31-2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Hepatology


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