Ultrasonography, a portable, noninvasive, and radiation-free technique, had been applied for assessment of oropharyngeal swallowing function for decades. The most common application is for observing the tongue, larynx, and hyoid-bone movement by B-mode ultrasonography. Although some studies describing techniques of ultrasonography have been published, its clinical application is still not well known. Other methods such as M-mode ultrasonography, Doppler ultrasonography, three-dimensional reconstruction, or pixel analysis had been reported without promising results. The techniques of ultrasonography examination of the tongue and larynx/hyoid movement are introduced in this work; in addition, a brief review about the methods and application of ultrasonography in assessing swallowing function in different groups of patients had been described. Ultrasonography, instead of a substitution of videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS), may be able to complement VFSS as a rapid examination tool for screening and for follow-up of swallowing function. Further large-scale quantitative analyses that provide diagnostic value and correlation with functional outcome are mandatory.
- Deglutition disorders
- Videofluoroscopic swallowing study