Hyoid elevation on a modified barium swallow study indicates that the pharyngeal muscles are contracting appropriately.
Modified barium swallow
With real time fluoroscopy (or videofluoroscopy) during the act of swallowing, the larynx moves upward and forward when there is a bolus in the oropharynx. The hyoid travels along with the larynx and is an indirect indication of the strength of the pharyngeal musculature.
During swallowing, the hyoid approaches the edge of the mandible on the lateral view.
After swallowing, the hyoid returns to its original position.
Lack of proper movement of the hyoid suggests pharyngeal paresis.
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