What is dysphagia?

Updated: Mar 20, 2020
  • Author: Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

As typically defined, dysphagia is a condition in which disruption of the swallowing process interferes with a patient’s ability to eat. It can result in aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and airway obstruction. The goals of dysphagia treatment are to maintain adequate nutritional intake for the patient and to maximize airway protection.

Chest radiography is a simple assessment for pneumonia. The image below shows aspiration of liquid barium into the distal bronchus.

Delayed posteroanterior chest image shows aspirati Delayed posteroanterior chest image shows aspiration of liquid barium into the distal bronchus.

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