Videofluoroscopy compared with clinical feeding evaluation in children with suspected aspiration

Patrick Stafler, Khaled Akel, Yuliana Eshel, Adi Shimoni, Sylvia Grozovski, Meir Mei-Zahav, Hagit Levine, Yulia Gendler, Hannah Blau, Dario Prais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aim: Videofluoroscopy swallow studies (VFSS) are gold standard to diagnose aspiration in children but require resources and radiation compared with clinical feeding evaluation (CFE). We evaluated their added value for diagnosis, feeding management and clinical status. Methods: A retrospective single-centre cross-sectional study of children aged 0–18 years, with respiratory morbidity, referred for VFSS at a tertiary pediatric hospital. Results: A total of 113 children, median age (range) 2.2 years (0.1–17.9), underwent VFSS. Diagnosis included chronic pulmonary aspiration (CPA), 87 (77%); neurological, 73 (64%); gastrointestinal, 73 (64%) and congenital heart disease, 42 (37%), not mutually exclusive. Forty-six (41%) aspirated, 9 (8%) only overtly and 37 (33%) including silent aspirations. Those with CPA or cerebral palsy were more likely to have VFSS aspiration, OR 3.2 and 9.8 respectively. Feeding recommendations after VFSS differed significantly from those based on prior CFE, p < 0.001: The rate of exclusively orally fed children rose from 65% to 79%, p = 0.006; exclusively enterally fed children from 10% to 14%; p = 0.005. During the year after VFSS, there were significantly less antibiotic courses, total and respiratory admissions. Conclusion: In this population with high prevalence of clinically suspected CPA, VFSS altered feeding management compared with CFE and may have contributed to subsequent clinical improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1449
Number of pages9
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • chronic pulmonary aspiration
  • overt aspiration
  • silent aspiration
  • videofluoroscopic swallow study


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