Hyoid motion during swallowing: factors affecting forward and upward displacement.

Dysphagia. 2002 Fall;17(4):262-72.

Ishida RPalmer JBHiiemae KM.

Abstract

During swallowing, the hyoid bone is described as moving first upward, then forward, then returning to the starting position. This study examined hyoid motion during swallowing of chewed solids and liquids. Barium videofluorography (VFG) was performed on 12 healthy volunteers eating 8-cc portions of various solid foods and drinking liquid. Hyoid position was measured frame-by-frame for 88 swallows relative to the occlusal plane of the upper teeth. The hyoid bone moved both upward and forward during swallowing, but upward displacement was sometimes very small. There was no correlation between the amplitudes of hyoid upward and forward displacements. The amplitude of upward displacement was highly variable, smaller for liquids than for solid foods (p <0.001), and, for solid foods, larger for the first swallow than for the second swallow (p = 0.02). The amplitude of forward displacement did not differ significantly between liquids and solids or between first and second swallows. We conclude that upward displacement of the hyoid bone in swallowing is related primarily to events in the oral cavity, while its forward displacement is related to pharyngeal processes, especially the opening of the upper esophageal sphincter.

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