The Role of Oral Feeding Time and Sham Feeding on Oropharyngeal Swallowing Functions in Children with Esophageal Atresia.

Soyer T., Arslan S., Boybeyi Ö., Demir N., Tanyel F. C.

Dysphagia, vol.38, no.1, pp.247-252, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00455-022-10461-1
  • Journal Name: Dysphagia
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.247-252
  • Keywords: Esophageal atresia, Dysphagia, Oropharyngeal dysphagia, Sham feeding, Aspiration, PRIMARY REPAIR, VIDEOFLUOROSCOPY, DEGLUTITION, ASPIRATION
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the role of oral feeding (OF) time and sham feeding (SF) on oral-pharyngeal swallowing functions in children with esophageal atresia (EA). Patients with EA were evaluated for age, sex, and types of atresia, time to start OF and surgical complications. Three to six weeks after full OF, videofluoroscopic swallowing evaluation (VFSE) was performed, and Penetration Aspiration Score (PAS, no aspiration = 1, penetration = 2-5, aspiration = 6-8), delay in swallowing reflex and residue after liquid and pudding consistency were noted. Patients were divided into three groups according to repair time; early primary repair (EPR, < 1 month of age), delayed primary repair (DPR, >= 1 month of age) and colonic interposition (CI). VFSE findings were compared between groups. In CI group, patients without aspiration in VFSE were encouraged to sham SF before CI. Patients with and without SF in CI group were also compared for oro-pharyngeal dysphagia (OPD). PAS scores were significantly higher in DPR (n = 13) group when compared to CI group (n = 12) in liquid swallowing (p = 0.032) and higher than EPR (n = 30) in pudding consistency (p = 0.03). Patients with CI showed significant OPD when compared to EPR (p = 0.017). Swallowing reflex delay was similar in both groups (p > 0.05). DPR group had significantly higher liquid residue at the level of vallecula (p = 0.028). The residue at other levels (oral, tongue base, pharyngeal wall and pyriform sinus) were similar in all groups in both liquid and pudding consistencies. There was no significant difference between sham-fed (n = 6) and not sham-fed (n = 6) infants in VFSE of OPD (p > 0.05). Patients with DPR without SF had significantly higher incidence of OPD and PAS scores when compared to EPR and CI. Although CI groups has the latest OF time, SF may improve oral motor abilities and cause better OF swallowing functions than patients with delayed repair.