The incidence of oropharyngeal dysphagia in infants with GERD-like symptoms

Mark Fishbein*, Christina Branham, Cheryl Fraker, Laura Walbert, Sibyl Cox, Donna Scarborough

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Symptoms of infantile gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may overlap with oropharyngeal dysphagia, but the evaluation and treatment of these conditions vary greatly. In this investigation, the incidence of oropharyngeal dysphagia in infants with GERD-like symptoms is determined. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on infants referred to a pediatric gastroenterology clinic for GERD-like symptoms. A feeding screen was performed in all infants. Standardized bedside swallow evaluation and modified barium swallow (MBS) studies were then performed when clinically indicated. A similarly aged cohort of normal participants also underwent a standard bedside swallow evaluation for group comparison. Results: Study population included 67 infants. A swallow evaluation was recommended in 39 of 67 infants with abnormalities noted in all. Swallowing abnormalities were more frequent and clustered in infants with GERD-like symptoms vs controls. MBS was abnormal in 16 of 17 qualifying infants. Characteristics of at-risk infants included extreme prematurity, developmental delay, or symptoms refractory to antireflux medications. Conclusion: Oropharyngeal dysphagia is prominent in infants with GERD-like symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • feeding behavior
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • infant
  • oropharyngeal dysphagia
  • reflux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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