Respiratory-swallowing coordination in normal subjects: Lung volume at swallowing initiation

D. H. McFarland*, B. Martin-Harris, A. J. Fortin, K. Humphries, E. Hill, K. Armeson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study was designed to investigate the significance of bolus types and volumes, delivery methods and swallowing instructions on lung volume at swallowing initiation in normal subjects in a single experiment using a multifactorial approach. Our broad range goal was to determine optimal lung volume range associated with swallowing initiation to provide training targets for dysphagic patients with disordered respiratory-swallow coordination. Our hypothesis was that swallows would be initiated within a limited range of quiet breathing lung volumes regardless of bolus volume, consistency or task. Results confirmed this hypothesis and revealed that swallows were initiated at mean lung volume = 244 ml. Cued swallows were initiated at lower quiet breathing volumes than un-cued swallows (cued = 201 ml; un-cued = 367 ml). Water boluses were initiated at slightly higher quiet breathing volumes than solids. Data suggest that swallows occur within a restricted range of lung volumes with variation due to instructions, bolus type and other experimental variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Deglutition
  • Lung volume
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory-swallow coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory-swallowing coordination in normal subjects: Lung volume at swallowing initiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this