Swallowing Physiology Overview



This chapter constitutes a concise overview of essential anatomical and physiological aspects of oropharyngeal swallowing, knowledge of which is needed in order to understand the scenarios described in the video-endoscopic chapter. Seven scenarios are described based on a physiological model—the so-called piston model—derived from Fred McConnel late 1980s, early 1990s papers.


Swallowing physiology Neural control of swallow McConnel’s piston model 


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    McConnel FM, Cerenko D, Jackson RT, Guffin TN Jr. Timing of major events of pharyngeal swallowing. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114:1413–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    McConnel FM, Cerenko D, Jackson RT, Hersh T. Clinical application of the manofluogram. Laryngoscope. 1988;98(7):705–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    McConnel FM. Analysis of pressure generation and bolus transit during pharyngeal swallowing. Laryngoscope. 1988;98(1):71–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    McConnel FM, O’Connor A. Dysphagia associated with pharyngoesophageal segment dysfunction. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg. 1994;48(2):157–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department, Voice and Swallowing Clinic, Cliniques universitaires Saint-LucUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.ENT DepartmentFlevoziekenhuisAlmereThe Netherlands

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