[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 1961

Oral and Pharyngeal Components of Deglutition: A Radiologic Study in Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine: Department of Surgery (Dr. Shedd); Department of Surgery (Otolaryngology) (Dr. Kirchner), and Department of Radiology (Dr. Scatliff).

Arch Surg. 1961;82(3):373-380. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300090043008

Introduction  One of the aspects of the physiology of deglutition which is incompletely understood is that pertaining to the forces involved in the conveyance of ingesta. What is the relative role of oral musculature to that of the pharynx and esophagus in the propulsion of the bolus? This question interested physiologists in the late 19th century, and it has now become of importance to the surgeon as ablative and reconstructive procedures are carried out in the upper aerodigestive tract.A certain amount of information on this subject is available. Distinctions have been made in the methods whereby liquids, as opposed to solids, are swallowed. Falk and Kronecker,3 working at the Physiologic Institute in Berlin in 1880, demonstrated in the human and the dog that there is a "squirt" mechanism whereby liquids are propelled rapidly from the mouth to far down in the esophagus. The transit speed is apparently more