The medical records of 535 adults were reviewed retrospectively. Chest X-ray images taken after barium swallow study were analyzed and presence of any residual barium in the esophagus was considered as esophageal dysphagia. Esophageal dysphagia was classified based on the largest width of barium deposit (mild, <2 cm; severe ≥2 cm) and the anatomic level at which it was located (upper and lower esophagus).
Esophageal residual barium on chest X-ray images was identified in 40 patients (7.5%, 40/535). Esophageal dysphagia was more frequent in individuals aged 65-79 years (odds ratio=4.78, p<0.05) than in those aged <65 years. Mild esophageal dysphagia was more frequent (n=32) than its severe form (n=8). Lower esophageal dysphagia was more frequent (n=31) than upper esophageal dysphagia (n=9). Esophageal residual barium in patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer or lung cancer was significantly associated with severe esophageal dysphagia (p<0.05) and at the upper esophagus level (p<0.01).
Esophageal residual barium was observed on chest X-ray imaging after VFSS. Esophageal barium in the upper esophagus with a diameter of ≥2 cm is an important indicator of malignancy, and chest X-ray image taken after VFSS is an important step to evaluate the presence of esophageal disorder.