Hyoid elevation

Hyoid elevation is an indication on a modified barium swallow study that the pharyngeal muscles are contracting appropriately.

Radiographic features

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.

Barium studies
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Article information

rID: 38412
System: Head & Neck
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Elevation of the hyoid bone
  • Elevation of hyoid bone

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Cases and figures

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    Normal barium swa...
    Case 1: hyoid elevation in normal swallow
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