Quantitative Swallow Measures of Children through Videofluroscopy

April 30, 2021 12:00 pm

This session will be conducted by three clinicians, two speech language pathologists and an otolaryngologist. The session will include sharing of videos of videofluoroscopy for practical activities and sharing evidence based literature on pediatric VFSS practice. We will provide a background to how VFSS is practiced around the world at present and concerns and challenges surrounding it. Further we will discuss about alternative assessment methods and identify the need for VFSS in children as the gold standard swallowing assessment. While highlighting the importance of objective quantitative analysis of pediatric data, we will present data to discuss the challenges and how we overcame them in obtaining objective quantitative BFSS purchasing of high-cost tools. We will demonstrate how the key VFSS protocol, which does not include techniques will be used targeting feasibility in clinical context. Further, we will share our findings on developing reference values for these key measures, allowing the clinicians to identify children at risk of swallowing impairments and predict aspiration in children, even if it is not visible on VFSS. The session will be concluded with a Q&A session, which will allow the learners to interact with the presenters.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the use of objective quantitative swallow measures in analyzing swallow biomechanics in children
  • Explain the nature of videofluoroscopic study of swallowing (VFSS)
  • Identify steps of swallowing through VFSS


  • Jacqueline Allen, MD, FRACS ORL HNS

    Dr Jacqueline Allen is a Laryngologist practicing in Auckland, New Zealand. A graduate of the University of Auckland, Dr Allen worked in the United Kingdom before completing her specialist ORL training in 2007. She then undertook Fellowship training at the Voice and Swallow Centre, University of California, Davis where she specialized in Voice and Dysphagia utilizing modern in-office techniques, endoscopy and laser surgery. She returned to New Zealand in 2010 and established the Auckland Voice and Swallow Centre, and the Swallowing Lab at University of Auckland where these techniques have been put to use. Research interests include neurogenic dysphagia, swallowing and nutrition in the older adult, vocal fold scar translational research, reflux disease and novel engineering modelling for swallow dysfunction. Dr Allen is President of Dysphagia Research Society, a Member of the American Bronchoesophagological Association and Laryngology Society of Australasia and is Section Editor of Current Opinion in Otolaryngology. She has published more than 55 journal articles, 1 book, and 15 book chapters. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Auckland.

    Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclosure

    Nonfinancial Disclosures: Nothing to disclosure

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  • Isuru Dharmarathna, Doctoral researcher

    Isuru Dharmarathna is a doctoral researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a lecturer in speech-language pathology at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Her doctoral research on ‘profiling objective quantitative videofluoroscopic measures of swallowing in children’ has been completed recently and the session is based on how the knowledge arise from the doctoral research can be applied to pediatric VFSS interpretation in the clinical context.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a monthly salary from the Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine and University of Kelaniya; is receiving an honorarium from Feeding Matters for CE session at the 2021 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference.

    Non-financial Disclosures: No non-financial disclosures

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  • Anna Miles, PhD

    Dr. Anna Miles is a practicing speech-language therapist with 20 years of experience working in the acute and community setting. Anna is a senior lecturer at The University of Auckland. She is a researcher, lecturer and clinician in the area of voice and swallowing disorders. Anna runs a hospital based student teaching clinic as well as an outpatient voice and swallowing rehabilitation clinic. She is the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association Clinical Expert in Dysphagia.

    The Swallowing Research Laboratory in the Centre of Brain Research at The University of Auckland, led by Dr Miles, strives to improve the lives of people with swallowing difficulties through improved assessment, treatment and medical education. The laboratory hopes to reduce the risks of pneumonia and death associated with swallowing difficulties as well as improve the quality of life of suffers.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from University of Auckland; is receiving an honorarium from Feeding Matters for CE session at the 2021 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference; is receiving an honorarium from New Zealand Speech language Therapists’ Association; is receiving an honorarium from Taylor & Francis- Speech Language & Hearing Journal

    Non-financial Disclosures: Serves as an executive board member for Laryngology Society of Australasia; serves as an executive board member for Dysphagia Research Society; serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Speech Language Pathology

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