Aspiration syndromes as a cause of bacterial colonization of the lower respiratory tract in children
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3rd Paediatric Clinic, University of Athens, “Attikon” Regional General Hospital, Athens, Greece
Paediatric Pneumonological Unit, Paediatric Clinic, University of Patras, Rio Regional General Hospital, Patras, Greece
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, UK
Corresponding author
Kostas N. Priftis   

3rd Paediatric Clinic, University of Athens, University General Hospital «Αttikon» 1 Rimini street, 12462 Chaidari
Pneumon 2011;24(3):271-279
Aspiration syndromes facilitate the colonization of the lower airways with bacterial pathogens and predispose to recurrent chest infections, chronic suppurative lung disease and bronchiectasis. In recent years important steps forward have been made in the understanding of the physiology of swallowing, the mechanisms underlying gastro-oesophageal reflux and the upper respiratory protective mechanisms for preventing aspiration. The diagnosis of aspiration however, and especially the establishment of a causal association with respiratory symptoms, remains challenging. Aspiration occurs sporadically and intermittently, and its manifestations are non-specific. There is no laboratory test that can establish with certainty whether or not aspiration lung disease is present; the diagnostic approach therefore remains primarily clinical, and laboratory investigations can only strengthen or weaken a clinical suspicion.
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