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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Difficulty Swallowing: Diagnosis & Tests
      Category : Health Centers > Throat Disorders

Difficulty Swallowing

Alternate Names : Dysphagia

Difficulty Swallowing | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

How is the condition diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a history and physical exam. Sometimes, this is all that is needed to make the diagnosis. In many cases, further testing is required to determine the cause of the condition.

Different tests may be ordered, depending on the suspected condition. If the swallowing trouble is thought to be due to a narrowing of the throat, an x-ray test called a upper GI may be ordered. In this test, a person is asked to drink a dye. X-ray pictures are taken as the dye passes through the esophagus into the stomach. In other cases, endoscopy is advised. In this procedure, also called an EGD, a thin tube with a camera on the end of it inserted through the mouth and advanced into the throat, esophagus, and stomach. The camera allows the doctor to see the inside of these structures. This can help determine the cause of the problem in many cases.

If a stroke is suspected, an x-ray test called a cranial CT scan may be ordered. If myasthenia gravis is suspected, a blood test called an antibody titer may be done. If a goiter is present, thyroid function tests may be performed on a blood sample. Other tests are also possible.

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Difficulty Swallowing: Symptoms & Signs


Difficulty Swallowing: Prevention & Expectations

Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

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