Mechanisms of airway protection during chin-down swallowing

Phoebe Macrae, Cheryl Anderson, Ianessa Humbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the effects of chin-down swallowing on laryngeal vestibule closure. It also investigated the technique's rehabilitative impact, by assessing the stability of effects across multiple trials and aftereffects in neutral swallows on cessation of the technique. Method: Duration of laryngeal vestibule closure (dLVC) was measured with videofluoroscopy in 16 healthy participants (mean = 33.2 years, 9 men). Participants swallowed 40 times: 5 head-neutral swallows (N1), then 30 chin-down swallows, followed by 5 head-neutral swallows (N2). The first 5 chin-down swallows were categorized as early posture swallows (P1) and the last 5 as late posture swallows (P2). Within-participant comparisons determined the effects of the maneuver on dLVC during and after execution. Results: The study found that dLVC increased during chin-down swallows (N1 to P1, p =.018). This increase remained stable throughout 30 repetitions (P1 to P2, p =.994). On return to neutral, dLVC returned to baseline (N1 to N2, p =.875). Conclusions: This study demonstrated increased dLVC during chin-down swallowing, offering a possible mechanism responsible for previously reported reduced aspiration during the technique. As aftereffects were not evident after multiple chin-down swallows, the maneuver appears to offer more compensatory benefit than rehabilitative value for patients with dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dysphagia
  • Physiology
  • Response to intervention
  • Stroke
  • Swallowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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