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[Dysphagia] Carbonated beverages

  • Subject: [Dysphagia] Carbonated beverages
  • From: Claire.Langdon at health.wa.gov.au (Langdon, Claire)
  • Date: Thu Jan 12 18:07:31 2006

Patients with dysphagia who demonstrate aspiration/penetration on thin liquids can sometimes safely tolerate carbonated beverages, (?possibly due to increased sensation from the carbonation providing additional feedback to the brainstem CPG?)

See:Bulow, Olssen and Ekberg Acta Radiol 2003 Jul 44(4)366-72 Videoradiographic analysis of how carbonated thin liquids and thickened liquids affect the physiology of swallowing in subjects with aspiration on thin liquids.

PURPOSE: To analyze how carbonated thin liquids affected the physiology of swallowing in dysphagic patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 40 patients were analyzed; 36 were neurologically impaired. During a therapeutic videoradiographic swallowing examination the patients had to swallow liquids with the following consistencies three times: thin, thickened and carbonated. The liquids were given in doses of 3 x 5 ml. The swallows were analyzed regarding penetration/aspiration, pharyngeal transit time and pharyngeal retention. RESULTS: Significant difference was found regarding penetration/aspiration when comparisons were made between thin liquid and carbonated thin liquid (p<0.0001). Carbonated liquid reduced the penetration to the airways. The comparison between thin liquid and thickened liquid (p<0.0001) showed significant less penetration with thickened liquids. Pharyngeal transit time was reduced both when comparing thin liquid with thin carbonated liquid (p<0.0001) and thickened liquid (p<0.0001). Pharyngeal retention was significantly reduced (p<0.0001) with carbonated thin liquid compared to thickened liquid. The comparison of thin liquids and carbonated thin liquids showed p=0.0013, thin and thickened liquids p=0.0097. CONCLUSIONS: Carbonated liquids reduced penetration/aspiration into the airways, reduced pharyngeal retention and pharyngeal transit time became shorter. Therefore, carbonated liquids are a valuable treatment option for patients with penetration/aspiration. Thickened liquids may still be an option for patients who cannot tolerate carbonated liquids and liquids with this consistency are safer than thin liquids.


Claire Langdon
Senior Speech Pathologist
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Hospital Avenue Nedlands 
West Australia

Phone: 61-8-9346-2044 
email: Claire.Langdon@health.wa.gov.au

-----Original Message-----
From: dysphagia-bounces@b9.com [mailto:dysphagia-bounces@b9.com]On
Behalf Of Staci Fischer
Sent: Friday, 13 January 2006 04:21
To: dysphagia@b9.com
Subject: [Dysphagia] Carbonated beverages

I am sure this question has been raised before, but does anyone consider carbonated beverages a nectar-thick liquid?  Or with a patient who has minimal aspiration with thin liquids, would you let them have carbonated beverages without thickening?  Does anyone have any research articles supporting or denying using carbonation as nectar-thick?

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