Outcomes of laryngohyoid suspension techniques in an ovine model of profound oropharyngeal dysphagia

Christopher M. Johnson, Naren N. Venkatesan, M. Tausif Siddiqui, Daniel J. Cates, Maggie A. Kuhn, Gregory M. Postma, Peter C. Belafsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the efficacy of various techniques of laryngohyoid suspension in the elimination of aspiration utilizing a cadaveric ovine model of profound oropharyngeal dysphagia. Study Design: Animal study. Methods: The head and neck of a Dorper cross ewe was placed in the lateral fluoroscopic view. Five conditions were tested: baseline, thyroid cartilage to hyoid approximation (THA), thyroid cartilage to hyoid to mandible (laryngohyoid) suspension (LHS), LHS with cricopharyngeus muscle myotomy (LHS-CPM), and cricopharyngeus muscle myotomy (CPM) alone. Five 20-mL trials of barium sulfate were delivered into the oropharynx under fluoroscopy for each condition. Outcome measures included the penetration aspiration scale (PAS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Swallow Safety Scale (NIH-SSS). Results: Median baseline PAS and NIH-SSS scores were 8 and 6, respectively, indicating severe impairment. THA scores were not improved from baseline. LHS alone reduced the PAS to 1 (P =.025) and NIH-SSS to 2 (P =.025) from baseline. LHS-CPM reduced the PAS to 1 (P =.025) and NIH-SSS to 0 (P =.025) from baseline. CPM alone did not improve scores. LHS-CPM displayed improved NIH-SSS over LHS alone (P =.003). Conclusions: This cadaveric model represents end-stage profound oropharyngeal dysphagia such as what could result from severe neurological insult. CPM alone failed to improve fluoroscopic outcomes in this model. Thyrohyoid approximation also failed to improve outcomes. LHS significantly improved both PAS and NIH-SSS. The addition of CPM to LHS resulted in improvement over suspension alone. Level of Evidence: NA. Laryngoscope, 127:E422–E427, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E422-E427
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Laryngohyoid suspension
  • National Institutes of Health swallowing safety scale
  • aspiration
  • cricopharyngeus muscle myotomy
  • dysphagia
  • laryngeal suspension
  • laryngohyoid approximation
  • oropharyngeal dysphagia
  • ovine model
  • penetration aspiration scale
  • pharyngoesophageal segment
  • upper esophageal sphincter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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