Gastrointestinal Radiology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 101–107

Movement of the epiglottis during deglutition

A cineradiographic study
  • Olle Ekberg
  • Sigurdur V. Sigurjónsson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01887619

Cite this article as:
Ekberg, O. & Sigurjónsson, S.V. Gastrointest Radiol (1982) 7: 101. doi:10.1007/BF01887619


The movements of epiglottis during swallowing of barium were studied by high-speed cineradiography in 150 volunteers who had no dysphagia. In 137 individuals the epiglottis tilted down in a twostep fashion during deglutition. The first movement from an upright to transverse position was accomplished by elevation of the larynx and approximation of the hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage. This first movement is evidently a passive one and induced by the muscles that lift the hyoid bone. The second movement of the epiglottis, from transverse to an inverted position, occurs later in swallowing and seems related to contraction of the thyroepiglottic muscle. The second epiglottic movement was absent in 7 individuals, and 6 others demonstrated obliquity of their epiglottis (30–90‡) when studied in AP projection.

Key words

Pharynx, radiography Epiglottis, function 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olle Ekberg
    • 1
  • Sigurdur V. Sigurjónsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyUniversity of Lund, Malmö General HospitalMalmöSweden

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