Tracheal Aspiration in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Introduction: Noted among the complications of dysphagia in children with cerebral palsy (CP) are aspiration of food in the airway, pneumonia, chronic lung disease, and malnutrition.
Objectives: The aim was to verify the relationship between pharyngeal residue and prolonged pharyngeal transit time (PPTT) with the occurrence of laryngotracheal aspiration in children diagnosed with CP.
Methodology: This was a retrospective study using the swallowing videofluoroscopy examinations of 27 children with CP, 14 girls and 13 boys, aged 7 months to 14 years and 7 months. Eight children were level IV and 19 children were level V according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the university hospital of the institution (process number 1720/2014). The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: The presence of pharyngeal residue with aspiration was observed in 17 children (63%), without aspiration in 4 children (15%), and pharyngeal aspiration without residue in 6 children (22%). PPTT with aspiration was observed in 9 children (34%), without aspiration in 2 children (8%), and aspiration without residue in 15 children (58%). There was a higher frequency of pharyngeal residue with reflux (p < 0.04), but aspiration was not related with PPTT (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Laryngotracheal aspiration was associated with pharyngeal residue but not with PPTT.
Keywords: Aspiration, cerebral palsy, pharyngeal residue.