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Influence Of Mucosal Receptors On Deglutitive Regulation Of Pharyngeal And Upper Esophageal Sphincter Function

G. N. Ali, T. M. Laundl, K. L. Wallace, D. W. Shaw, D. J. Decarle, I. J. Cook

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The potential influence of mucosal sensory receptors on the regulation of oral-pharyngeal swallow events was studied in 15 healthy volunteers using simultaneous videoradiography and manometry. We determined the effects of selective pharyngeal and oral plus pharyngeal anesthesia on the following temporal and manometric measures in response to liquid and viscous swallows: regional transit and clearance times; motion of hyoid and larynx; upper esophageal sphincter relaxation, opening, and closure; and pharyngeal contraction wave characteristics. Under the influence of mucosal anesthesia no subjects demonstrated aspiration during deglutition. Neither regional transit and clearance times nor pharyngosphincteric coordination was influenced significantly by pharyngeal mucosal anesthesia or oral plus pharyngeal anesthesia. Although midpharyngeal and distal pharyngeal contraction amplitudes were not influenced by mucosal anesthesia, midpharyngeal contraction wave duration was reduced significantly by both pharyngeal (P = 0.02) and oral plus pharyngeal anesthesia (P = 0.0005). We conclude that 1) neither elicitation of the pharyngeal swallow response nor temporal regulation among swallow events is dependent on mucosal sensory receptors and 2) duration of the pharyngeal contraction is influenced by sensory input from the oral-pharyngeal mucosa.