Swallowing evaluation with videofluoroscopy in the paediatric population
Paediatric swallowing disorders can have several causes, from prematurity and congenital anomalies to gastro-oesophageal reflux and infective or inflammatory pathologies of the upper digestive tract. In neonates, the swallowing process is reflexive and involuntary. Later in infancy, the oral phase comes under voluntary control, while the pharyngeal phase and oesophageal phases remain involuntary. Swallowing difficulties can severely compromise pulmonary health and nutritional intake of paediatric patients. Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS) is a radiographic procedure that provides a dynamic view of the swallowing process and is frequently considered to be definitive evaluation for objective assessment of dysphagia in paediatric patients. This review focuses on the different possible aetiologies of paediatric swallowing disorders and related videofluoroscopic swallowing study procedures and appearances.