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1.  Clinical Usefulness of Schedule for Oral-Motor Assessment (SOMA) in Children with Dysphagia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2011;35(4):477-484.
To investigate the clinical usefulness of the Schedule for Oral-Motor Assessment (SOMA) in children with dysphagia by comparing findings of SOMA with those of the videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).
Both SOMA and VFSS were performed in 33 children with dysphagia (21 boys and 12 girls; mean age 17.3±12.1 months) who were referred for oropharyngeal evaluation. Ratings of oral-motor functions indicated by SOMA were based upon the cutting score of each specific texture of food (puree, semi-solids, solids, cracker, liquid-bottle, and liquid-cup). Abnormalities of either the oral phase, or the pharyngeal phase as indicated by VFSS were assessed by a physician and a speech-language pathologist.
There was significant consistency between the findings of SOMA and the oral phase evaluation by VFSS (Kappa=0.419, p=0.023). SOMA reached 87.5% sensitivity, 66.6% specificity, and 95.4% positive predictive value when compared with the oral phase of the VFSS. We were able to evaluate oral-motor function by using SOMA in 6 children who were unable to complete the oral phase evaluation by VFSS, due to fear and crying during the study. The findings of SOMA failed to show any consistency with the pharyngeal phase evaluation by VFSS (Kappa=-0.105, p=0.509).
These results suggest that SOMA is a reliable method for evaluation of oral-motor function in children with dysphagia. In particular, SOMA is recommended for children that were unable to complete the oral phase evaluation by VFSS due to poor cooperation.
PMCID: PMC3309241  PMID: 22506162
Dysphagia; Oral-motor dysfunction; Schedule for Oral-Motor Assessment (SOMA); Videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS)
2.  Clinical Characteristics Associated With Aspiration or Penetration in Children With Swallowing Problem 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2014;38(6):734-741.
To evaluate demographic characteristics of children with suspected dysphagia who underwent videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) and to identify factors related to penetration or aspiration.
Medical records of 352 children (197 boys, 155 girls) with suspected dysphagia who were referred for VFSS were reviewed retrospectively. Clinical characteristics and VFSS findings were analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Almost half of the subjects (n=175, 49%) were under 24 months of age with 62 subjects (18%) born prematurely. The most common condition associated with suspected dysphagia was central nervous system (CNS) disease. Seizure was the most common CNS disorder in children of 6 months old or younger. Brain tumor was the most important one for school-age children. Aspiration symptoms or signs were the major cause of referral for VFSS in children except for infants of 6 months old or where half of the subjects showed poor oral intake. Penetration or aspiration was observed in 206 of 352 children (59%). Subjects under two years of age who were born prematurely at less than 34 weeks of gestation were significantly (p=0.026) more likely to show penetration or aspiration. Subjects with congenital disorder with swallow-related anatomical abnormalities had a higher percentage of penetration or aspiration with marginal statistical significance (p=0.074). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that age under 24 months and an unclear etiology for dysphagia were factors associated with penetration or aspiration.
Subjects with dysphagia in age group under 24 months with preterm history and unclear etiology for dysphagia may require VFSS. The most common condition associated with dysphagia in children was CNS disease.
PMCID: PMC4280368  PMID: 25566471
Fluoroscopy; Pediatrics; Dysphagia; Premature infant; Aspiration pneumonia
3.  The Effects of the VFSS Timing After Nasogastric Tube Removal on Swallowing Function of the Patients With Dysphagia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2015;39(4):517-523.
To evaluate the effects of the videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) timing after the nasogastric tube (NGT) removal on swallowing function of the patients with dysphagia.
This study was conducted on 40 NGT-fed patients with dysphagia. To assess the patients' swallowing function, VFSS was performed twice using a 5-mL 35% diluted barium solution. For the initial examination, VFSS was performed immediately after the NGT removal (VFSS 1). For the second examination, VFSS was performed five hours after the NGT removal (VFSS 2). We used the functional dysphagia scale (FDS) to assess swallowing function. In the FDS, a significant difference in the four items in the oral phase, seven items in the pharyngeal phase, and total scores were assessed (p<0.05). We also used modified penetration-aspiration scale (mPAS) to compare the two examinations (p<0.05).
A paired t-test was performed to confirm the statistical significance of the two examinations (p<0.05). The overall swallowing function was assessed as better in VFSS 2 than in VFSS 1. In the FDS, significant differences in the residue in valleculae (p=0.002), the residue in pyriform sinuses (p=0.001), the coating of pharyngeal wall after swallow (p=0.001), and the total scores (p<0.001) were found between the two examinations. Also, in the mPAS that assessed the degree of penetration-aspiration, a significant difference was found between the two examinations (p<0.001).
The results of this study confirmed that the timing of the VFSS after the NGT removal affects the swallowing function. Thus, to accurately assess the swallowing function, VFSS must be performed in NGT-fed patients after they have rested for a certain period following the removal of their NGT.
PMCID: PMC4564698  PMID: 26361587
Dysphagia; Enteral Nutrition; Deglutition
4.  The Effect of Bedside Exercise Program on Stroke Patients with Dysphagia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(4):512-520.
To examine the effects of a bedside exercise program on the recovery of swallowing after a stroke.
Fifty stroke patients with dysphagia (<6 months post-stroke) were enrolled and classified into two groups, the experimental (25 subjects) and control groups (25 subjects). The control group was treated with conventional swallowing therapy. The experimental group received additional bedside exercise training, which consisted of oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, and respiratory exercises, 1 hour per day for 2 months, and they were instructed regarding this program through the nursing intervention. All patients were assessed for their swallowing function by Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS), using the New VFSS scale, the level of functional oral intake, the frequency of dysphagia complications, the presence (or not) of tube feeding, the mood state and quality of life before the treatment and at 2 months after the treatment.
After 2 months of treatment, the experimental group showed a significant improvement in the swallowing function at the oral phase in the New VFSS Scale than that of the control group (p<0.05). Further, they also showed less depressive mood and better quality of life than the control group. However, there was no significant change in the incidence of dysphagia complication and the presence (or not) of tube feeding between the two groups.
Bedside exercise program showed an improvement of swallowing function and exhibited a positive secondary effect, such as mood state and quality of life, on subacute stroke patients with dysphagia. For improvement of rehabilitation results on subacute stroke patients with dysphagia, this study suggests that additional intensive bedside exercise would be necessary.
PMCID: PMC3438418  PMID: 22977777
Dysphagia; Videofluoroscopic swallowing study; Bedside exercise
5.  Analysis of Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study in Patients with Vocal Cord Paralysis 
Dysphagia  2011;27(2):185-190.
We reviewed the findings of a video fluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) of 28 patients with vocal cord paralysis (VCP) who complained of swallowing difficulties. VFSSs were performed with thick and thin liquid using modified Logemann methods. The patients were grouped according to whether their VCP was of central or peripheral origin, and the VFSS findings of the groups were compared. The patients showed oral phase dysfunction and pharyngeal dysfunction, especially when the cause was of central origin. Oral phase abnormalities were found in 13 patients and pharyngeal phase abnormalities were found in all patients, including penetration in 20 patients and aspiration in 14 patients. Improper lip closure (LC) and bolus formation (BF) and a delay in triggering pharyngeal swallow (TPS) and upper esophageal sphincter release (UESR) were significantly more frequent in patients with central VCP. With thin-liquid swallowing, pharyngeal transit time (PTT) and pharyngeal delay time (PDT) were significantly more prolonged in central VCP. The results suggest that the delay in triggering and poor coordination of swallowing were profound in patients with central VCP, but dysfunction in peripheral VCP may originate from poor pharyngeal movement.
PMCID: PMC3715062  PMID: 21773847
Vocal cord paralysis; Video fluoroscopic swallowing study; Dysphagia; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders
6.  Effectiveness of Rehabilitative Balloon Swallowing Treatment on Upper Esophageal Sphincter Relaxation and Pharyngeal Motility for Neurogenic Dysphagia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2015;39(4):524-534.
To investigate the relationship between dysphagia severity and opening of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES), and to assess the effect of balloon size on functional improvement after rehabilitative balloon swallowing treatment in patients with severe dysphagia with cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction (CPD).
We reviewed videofluoroscopic swallowing studies (VFSS) conducted in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Myongji Hospital from January through December in 2012. All subjects diagnosed with CPD by VFSS further swallowed a 16-Fr Foley catheter filled with barium sulfate suspension for three to five minutes. We measured the maximum diameter of the balloon that a patient could swallow into the esophagus and subsequently conducted a second VFSS. Then, we applied a statistical technique to correlate the balloon diameter with functional improvement after the balloon treatment.
Among 283 inpatients who received VFSS, 21 subjects were diagnosed with CPD. It was observed that the degree of UES opening evaluated by swallowing a catheter balloon had inverse linear correlations with pharyngeal transit time and post-swallow pharyngeal remnant. Videofluoroscopy guided iterative balloon swallowing treatment for three to five minutes, significantly improved the swallowing ability in terms of pharyngeal transit time and pharyngeal remnant (p<0.005 and p<0.001, respectively). Correlation was seen between balloon size and reduction in pharyngeal remnants after balloon treatment (Pearson correlation coefficient R=-0.729, p<0.001), whereas there was no definite relationship between balloon size and improvement in pharyngeal transit time (R=-0.078, p=0.738).
The maximum size of the balloon that a patient with CPD can swallow possibly indicates the maximum UES opening. The iterative balloon swallowing treatment is safe without the risk of aspiration, and it can be an effective technique to improve both pharyngeal motility and UES relaxation.
PMCID: PMC4564699  PMID: 26361588
Oropharyngeal dysphagia; Upper esophageal sphincter; Cricopharyngeus muscle
7.  Use of Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study in Patients with Aspiration Pneumonia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(6):785-790.
To investigate the clinical characteristics of dysphagic elderly Korean patients diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia as well as to examine the necessity of performing a videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) in order to confirm the presence of dysphagia in such patients.
The medical records of dysphagic elderly Korean subjects diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia were retrospectively reviewed for demographic and clinical characteristics as well as for VFSS findings.
In total, medical records of 105 elderly patients (81 men and 24 women) were reviewed in this study. Of the 105 patients, 82.9% (n=87) were admitted via the emergency department, and 41.0% (n=43) were confined to a bed. Eighty percent (n=84) of the 105 patients were diagnosed with brain disorders, and 68.6% (n=72) involved more than one systemic disease, such as diabetes mellitus, cancers, chronic cardiopulmonary disorders, chronic renal disorders, and chronic liver disorders. Only 66.7% (n=70) of the 105 patients underwent VFSS, all of which showed abnormal findings during the oral or pharyngeal phase, or both.
In this study, among 105 dysphagic elderly patients with aspiration pneumonia, only 66.7% (n=70) underwent VFSS in order to confirm the presence of dysphagia. As observed in this study, the evaluation of dysphagia is essential in order to consider elderly patients with aspiration pneumonia, particularly in patients with poor functional status, brain disorders, or more than one systemic disease. A greater awareness of dysphagia in the elderly, as well as the diagnostic procedures thereof, particularly VFSS, is needed among medical professionals in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3546180  PMID: 23342310
Aspiration pneumonia; Dysphagia
8.  Usefulness of Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study with Mixed Consistency Food for Patients with Stroke or Other Brain Injuries 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(3):425-430.
This study evaluated the feasibility of mixed consistency foods test in patients with dysphagia which developed after stroke or other brain injuries. The findings of a videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) were compared using single versus mixed consistency foods. Forty-nine patients with stroke or other brain injuries who had no significant abnormal findings in the single consistency food VFSS and started regular hospital diet were recruited for this study. Twenty-five (51%) of the 49 patients showed normal findings whereas 24 (49%) patients showed abnormal findings in the mixed consistency food VFSS. Abnormal findings included posterior spillage of liquid prematurely to pyriform sinus (n = 23), laryngeal penetration (n = 6), subglottic aspiration in the oral preparatory phase of swallowing (chewing), solid components (n = 2), and significant (more than 10%) residue in valleculae or pyriform sinus (n = 2). There was an increased risk of abnormal findings in mixed consistency food VFSS such as aspiration and penetration when a patient showed delayed pharyngeal delay time in single consistency food using liquids. In conclusion, VFSS protocols using mixed consistency foods would be useful before starting regular diet for patients after stroke or other brain injuries.
PMCID: PMC3051092  PMID: 21394313
Dysphasia; Stroke; Brain Injuries; Fluoroscopy; Diet; Food
9.  Pharyngeal swallowing phase and chronic cough  
Introduction: The act of swallowing depends on a complex and dynamic process which uses common structures to the act of breathing; respiratory problems can cause swallowing difficulties.
Aim: To assess the swallowing pharyngeal phase in patients with chronic cough.
Method: Retrospective study with 15 patients of both genders, patients with chronic cough and risk factors for aspiration defined by the pneumologic diagnosis. The patients were submitted to anamnesis on complaints related to swallowing, chewing and breathing, or related to food and to videofluoroscopic examination.
Results: It was observed that 33.3% had normal and functional swallowing, being the last one of most prevalence. The mild dysphagia was observed in 20% of the patients, the mild to moderate dysphagia in 6.7% of them. In relation to the Rosenbek scale, 73.3% of patients presented degree 1, 6.7% presented degrees 2 and 3, and 13.3% presented degree 8. The most found pathology was the chronic cough with 40%, followed by asthma with 20%; 69.2% of patients presented stasis and of these, five used protection maneuvers, of these, seven were effective and only three were used in the presence of stasis. The most used maneuver was the multiple swallowing, being effective in 100%.
Conclusion: There are peculiarities in the patients' swallowing with chronic cough that, although not presenting complaints relating to swallowing, it presents an important aspiration risk due to the presence of changes in breathing pattern that can intervene in the coordination between breathing and swallowing, which is essential to protect the lower airway.
PMCID: PMC4399588  PMID: 25991980
deglutition disorders; fluoroscopy; methods; cough
10.  Treatment of Dysphagia with Pyridostigmine Bromide in a Patient with the Pharyngeal-Cervical-Brachial Variant of Guillain-Barré Syndrome 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(1):148-153.
A 24-year-old male developed bulbar palsy, ophthalmoplegia, ptosis, and shoulder weakness bilaterally 2 weeks after he had experienced an upper respiratory infection. The electrodiagnostic study demonstrated axonal polyradiculoneuropathy. The repetitive nerve stimulation study (RNS) showed no significant decrement of the compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs). The videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) showed severe impairment of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. He was diagnosed as having the pharyngeal-cervical-brachial variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. The patient's dysphagia was not improved for 3 months. A follow up RNS showed a significant decrement of the CMAPs. Pyridostigmine bromide was tried to improve the dysphagia. The patient showed immediate improvement of his dysphagia on the VFSS after the trial with pyridostigmine bromide. Pyridostigmine bromide was given before each meal for 8 days and he showed continuous improvement of his dysphagia. The follow up VFSS after 3 months showed complete recovery of dysphagia.
PMCID: PMC3309320  PMID: 22506249
Guillain-Barré syndrome; Dysphagia; Pyridostigmine bromide
11.  Oral and pharyngeal bolus transit in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Patients with respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may have swallowing dysfunction.
The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing in patients with COPD.
We studied 16 patients with clinical manifestations and pulmonary function tests diagnosis of COPD (mean age: 68 years) and 15 nonsmoking healthy volunteers (mean age: 65 years) with normal pulmonary function tests. All subjects were submitted to clinical and videofluoroscopic evaluation of swallowing. Each subject performed in duplicate swallows of 5 mL and 10 mL of liquid bolus, paste bolus, and a solid bolus.
In general, the duration of the events of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing was longer in COPD patients than controls. The difference was significant in the laryngeal vestibular closure, hyoid movement, and pharyngeal transit with swallows of both volumes of liquid bolus; in oral–pharyngeal transit with 5 mL paste bolus; and in pharyngeal and oral–pharyngeal transit with solid bolus. The difference between the duration of maximal laryngeal elevation and the duration of pharyngeal transit was higher in control subjects than in patients with COPD.
The results suggested that patients with COPD have a longer pharyngeal swallowing phase than normal subjects, which is associated with a decrease in the difference between the duration of maximal laryngeal elevation and the duration of pharyngeal transit.
PMCID: PMC4356708  PMID: 25784795
COPD; videofluoroscopy; oral–pharyngeal transit; swallowing; deglutition
12.  Premature Infant Swallowing: Patterns of Tongue-Soft Palate Coordination Based Upon Videofluoroscopy 
Infant behavior & development  2010;33(2):209-218.
Coordination between movements of individual tongue points, and between soft palate elevation and tongue movements, were examined in 12 prematurely born infants referred from hospital NICUs for videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) due to poor oral feeding and suspicion of aspiration. Detailed post-evaluation kinematic analysis was conducted by digitizing images of a lateral view of digitally superimposed points on the tongue and soft palate. The primary measure of coordination was continuous relative phase of the time series created by movements of points on the tongue and soft palate over successive frames. Three points on the tongue (anterior, medial, and posterior) were organized around a stable in-phase pattern, with a phase lag that implied an anterior to posterior direction of motion. Coordination between a tongue point and a point on the soft palate during lowering and elevation was close to anti-phase at initiation of the pharyngeal swallow. These findings suggest that anti-phase coordination between tongue and soft palate may reflect the process by which the tongue is timed to pump liquid by moving it into an enclosed space, compressing it, and allowing it to leave by a specific route through the pharynx.
PMCID: PMC2844905  PMID: 20181397
Infant; coordination; swallowing; videofluoroscopy; dysphagia; tongue; soft palate
13.  Swallowing transit times and valleculae residue in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Breathing and swallowing are physiologically linked to ensure effortless gas exchange during oronasal breathing and to prevent aspiration during swallowing. Studies have indicated consistent aspiration in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mainly related to delayed swallowing reflex and problems with lingual propulsion and pharyngeal peristalsis as a result of bilateral weakness and incoordination of the related muscles. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate swallowing transit times and valleculae residue characteristics of stable COPD patients who have no swallowing complaints.
Our study population included 20 stable patients with COPD and no swallowing complaints and 20 healthy controls. Swallowing was assessed through videofluoroscopic examination and involved the analysis of the following parameters: (1) pharyngeal stages of deglutition; (2) the duration of bolus movement through the oral cavity and pharynx (i.e. transit times); (3) valleculae residue ratio; (4) penetration/aspiration.
Participants of the study did not present any signs of penetration-aspiration for any of the tested consistencies. Patients with COPD presented longer pharyngeal transit times during the ingestion of the liquid consistency and during the ingestion of the paste consistency. Regarding the duration of tongue base contact with the posterior pharyngeal wall, COPD patients also presented longer durations for the liquid and paste consistencies. No significant difference was observed for the distribution of individuals among the different valleculae residue severity levels.
Our study suggests that stable COPD patients may present physiological adaptations as a protective swallowing maneuver to avoid aspiration/penetration of pharyngeal contents. Moreover, valleculae residue cannot be seen as an isolated factor when trying to explain swallowing alterations in this population.
PMCID: PMC4004463  PMID: 24739506
COPD; Videofluoroscopy; Swallowing; Swallowing disorders
14.  The Effects of Removable Denture on Swallowing 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2013;37(2):247-253.
To investigate the relationship between removable dentures and swallowing and describe risks.
Twenty-four patients with removable dentures who were referred for videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) were enrolled. We evaluated the change of swallowing function using VFSS before and after the removal of the removable denture. The masticatory performance by Kazunori's method, sensation of oral cavity by Christian's method, underlying disease, and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale for level of consciousness were collected. Functional dysphagia scales, including the oral transit time (OTT), pharyngeal transit time (PTT), percentage of oral residue, percentage of pharyngeal residue, oropharyngeal swallow efficiency (OPSE), and presence of aspiration were measured.
Four patients dropped out and 20 patients were analyzed (stroke, 13 patients; pneumonia, 3 patients; and others, 4 patients). The mean age was 73.3±11.4 years. There were significant differences before and after the removal of the denture for the OTT. OTT was significantly less after the removal of the denture (8.87 vs. 4.38 seconds, p=0.01). OPSE increased remarkably after the removal of the denture, but without significance (18.24%/sec vs. 25.26%/sec, p=0.05). The OTT and OPSE, while donning a removable denture, were correlated with the masticatory performance (OTT, p=0.04; OPSE, p=0.003) and sensation of oral cavity (OTT, p=0.006; OPSE, p=0.007).
A removable denture may have negative effects on swallowing, especially OTT and OPSE. These affects may be caused by impaired sensation of the oral cavity or masticatory performance induced by the removable denture.
PMCID: PMC3660487  PMID: 23705121
Dysphagia; Removable partial denture; Swallowing
15.  Usefulness of Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study in Treacher Collins Syndrome With Cleft Palate: A Case Report 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2014;38(5):707-711.
A 3-year-old girl had multiple anomalies compatible with Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). From the neonatal period, sucking was poor, making tube feeding necessary. Excessive saliva was retained in the oral cavity. Nasal leakage caused by the cleft palate was observed when she spoke. The initial videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) showed a poor posterior bolus transit and nasopharyngeal regurgitation. A delayed swallow reflex and bolus stasis at the vallecular and pyriform sinuses were recognized. Based on the VFSS findings, the patient underwent palatoplasty at 20 months of age. At approximately 23 months of age, a follow-up VFSS was performed; poor posterior bolus transit, nasopharyngeal regurgitation, and delayed swallow reflex were not observed. Finally, the patient was able to eat ground or chopped foods and solid foods orally. We deem VFSS to be helpful in deciding the appropriate management of dysphagia in TCS.
PMCID: PMC4221402  PMID: 25379503
Fluoroscopy; Cleft palate; Treacher Collins
16.  Inter-rater Reliability of Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(6):791-796.
To investigate the inter-rater agreement using the Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale (VDS).
The present study was designed as a multicenter, single-blind trial. A Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS) was performed using the protocol described by J.A Logemann. Thick-fluid, pureed food, mechanically altered food, regularly textured food, and thin-fluid boluses were sequentially swallowed. Each participant received a 3 ml bolus followed by a 5 ml bolus of each food material, in the order mentioned above. All study procedures were video recorded. Discs containing these video recordings in random order were distributed to interpreters who were blinded to the participant information. The video recordings were evaluated using a standardized VDS sheet and the inter-rater reliability was calculated.
In total, 100 patients participated in this study and 10 interpreters analyzed the findings. Inter-rater reliability was fair in terms of lip closure (κ: 0.325), oral transit time (0.253), delayed triggering of pharyngeal swallowing (0.300), vallecular residue (0.275), laryngeal elevation (0.345), pyriform sinus residue (0.310), coating of the pharyngeal wall (0.310), and aspiration (0.393). However, other parameters of the oral phase were lower than those of the pharyngeal phase (0.06-0.153). Moreover, the summation of VDS reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.556) showed moderate agreement.
VDS shows a moderate rate of agreement for evaluating the swallowing function. However, many of the parameters demonstrated a lower rate of agreement, particularly the oral phase parameters.
PMCID: PMC3546181  PMID: 23342311
VDS; Reliability; Inter-rater; Dysphagia; VFSS
17.  Evaluation and Management of Neonatal Dysphagia: Impact of Pharyngoesophageal Motility Studies and Multidisciplinary Feeding Strategy 
Background and objectives
Abnormal swallowing (dysphagia) among neonates is commonly evaluated using the videofluoroscopic swallow study (VSS). Radiological findings considered high risk for administration of oral feeding include nasopharyngeal reflux, laryngeal penetration, aspiration, or pooling. Our aims were to determine pharyngoesophageal motility correlates in neonates with dysphagia and the impact of multidisciplinary feeding strategy.
Twenty dysphagic neonates (mean gestation ± standard deviation [SD] = 30.9 ± 4.9 weeks; median 31.1 weeks; range = 23.7–38.6 weeks) with abnormal VSS results were evaluated at 49.9 ± 16.5 weeks (median 41.36 weeks) postmenstrual age. The subjects underwent a swallow-integrated pharyngoesophageal motility assessment of basal and adaptive swallowing reflexes using a micromanometry catheter and pneumohydraulic water perfusion system. Based on observations during the motility study, multidisciplinary feeding strategies were applied and included postural adaptation, sensory modification, hunger manipulation, and operant conditioning methods. To discriminate pharyngoesophageal manometry correlates between oral feeders and tube feeders, data were stratified based on the primary feeding method at discharge, oral feeding versus tube feeding.
At discharge, 15 of 20 dysphagic neonates achieved oral feeding success, and the rest required chronic tube feeding. Pharyngoesophageal manometry correlates were significantly different (P <0.05) between the primary oral feeders versus the chronic tube feeders for swallow frequency, swallow propagation, presence of adaptive peristaltic reflexes, oral feeding challenge test results, and upper esophageal sphincter tone. VSS results or disease characteristics had little effect on the feeding outcomes (P = NS).
Swallow-integrated esophageal motility studies permit prolonged evaluation of swallowing reflexes and responses to stimuli under controlled conditions at cribside. The dysfunctional neuromotor mechanisms may be responsible for neonatal dysphagia or its consequences. Manometry may be a better predictor than VSS in identifying patients who are likely to succeed in vigorous intervention programs.
PMCID: PMC3791885  PMID: 19179881
Dysphagia; Motility; Neonates; Videofluoroscopic swallow study
18.  Effect of the Order of Test Diets on the Accuracy and Safety of Swallowing Studies 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2014;38(3):304-309.
To assess whether the order of test diets influences the results of swallowing studies with regard to their accuracy and safety.
Subjects with suspected dysphagia underwent a videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) and/or a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and repeated the study on the same day or within a week. The order of test diets comprised of two different sets: trial 1 with the fluid first and trial 2 with the semi-solid food first. Main outcome measurements were the modified penetration-aspiration scale (mPAS) and the pharyngeal residue severity scale (PRSS) for the vallecula and the pyriform sinus.
Sixty-six patients (44 men and 22 women, aged 65.0±15.0 years) were enrolled in this study. Forty-three subjects were evaluated with VFSS only and 23 with both VFSS and FEES. As a result of the swallowing studies, there was no significant difference in each chosen diet sequence regarding mPAS and PRSS. Furthermore, there was no difference regarding the duration of studies, rate of premature study termination, rate of abnormal findings in post-study chest X-ray, and rate of fever or pneumonia post-study.
The accuracy and safety of the swallowing studies do not rely on the order of test diets.
PMCID: PMC4092169  PMID: 25024952
Deglutition disorders; Diet; Deglutition; Evaluation studies
19.  Comparison of Swallowing Functions Between Brain Tumor and Stroke Patients 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2013;37(5):633-641.
To compare the swallowing functions according to the lesion locations between brain tumor and stroke patients.
Forty brain tumor patients and the same number of age-, lesion-, and functional status-matching stroke patients were enrolled in this study. Before beginning the swallowing therapy, swallowing function was evaluated in all subjects by videofluoroscopic swallowing study. Brain lesions were classified as either supratentorial or in-fratentorial. We evaluated the following: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Outcome Measurement System (NOMS) swallowing scale, clinical dysphagia scale, functional dysphagia scale (FDS), penetration-aspiration scale (PAS), oral transit time, pharyngeal transit time, the presence of vallecular pouch residue, pyriform sinus residue, laryngopharyngeal incoordination, premature spillage, a decreased swal-lowing reflex, pneumonia, and the feeding method at discharge.
The incidence of dysphagia was similar in brain tumor and stroke patients. There were no differences in the results of the various swallowing scales and other parameters between the two groups. When compared brain tumor patients with supratentorial lesions, brain tumor patients with infratentorial lesions showed higher propor-tion of dysphagia (p=0.01), residue (p<0.01), FDS (p<0.01), PAS (p<0.01), and lower ASHA NOMS (p=0.02) at initial evaluation. However, there was no significant difference for the swallowing functions between benign and malig-nant brain tumor patients.
Swallowing function of brain tumor patients was not different from that of stroke patients according to matching age, location of lesion, and functional status. Similar to the stroke patients, brain tumor patients with infratentorial lesions present poor swallowing functions. However, the type of brain tumor as malignancy does not influence swallowing functions.
PMCID: PMC3825939  PMID: 24231855
Brain tumor; Dysphagia; Videofluoroscopic swallowing study; Infratentorial lesion; Malignancy
20.  Clinical signs of dysphagia in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis☆  
Revista Paulista de Pediatria  2014;32(3):157-163.
To determine the occurrence of clinical signs of dysphagia in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis, to compare the respiratory parameters during deglutition, and to ensure the intra- and inter- examiners agreement, as well as to accomplish intra and interexaminators concordance of the clinical evaluation of the deglutition.
This was a cross-sectional study of 42 infants aged 0-12 months. The clinical evaluation was accompanied by measurements of respiratory rate and pulse oximetry. A score of swallowing disorders was designed to establish associations with other studied variables and to ensure the intra- and interrater agreement of clinical feeding assessments. Caregivers also completed a questionnaire about feeding difficulties. Significance was set at p<0.05.
Changes in the oral phase (prolonged pauses) and pharyngeal phase (wheezing, coughing and gagging) of swallowing were found. A significant increase in respiratory rate between pre- and post-feeding times was found, and it was determined that almost half of the infants had tachypnea. An association was observed between the swallowing disorder scores and a decrease in oxygen saturation. Infants whose caregivers reported feeding difficulties during hospitalization stated a significantly greater number of changes in the swallowing evaluation. The intra-rater agreement was considered to be very good.
Infants with acute viral bronchiolitis displayed swallowing disorders in addition to changes in respiratory rate and measures of oxygen saturation. It is suggested, therefore, that infants displaying these risk factors have a higher probability of dysphagia.
PMCID: PMC4227334  PMID: 25479843
Bronchiolitis; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders; Infant
21.  Endoscopic evaluation of neurological dysphagic patients 
Dysphagia is a frequent finding in neurological patients and is a symptom related to the severity of the clinical picture. The swallowing impairments, in these patients, increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia, that leads to death, in at least 6% of patients, within the first year. Therefore, evaluation of the swallowing status is essential in patients with dysphagia and videofluoroscopic study of swallowing (VFSS) is the method of choice. It cannot be performed in all patients on account of the complexity of the procedure and since they must be brought to the Radiology Unit. In the 1980, a new bedside method was introduced, namely: fiber-optic endoscopic study of swallow (FESS) which is easy, low-cost, well-tolerated and repeatable. We use this bedside technique to assess swallowing function in patients with dysphagia admitted to acute care units, neurological and internal medicine units. The evaluation aims to indicate the safer nutritional method (oral intake, feeding tube or percutaneous gastrostomy) and, consequently, reducing the risk of aspiration pneumonia during hospitalization. We found that more than 50% of the dysphagic patients present cerebrovascular injuries and in 2% of the population, the first diagnostic hypothesis of Myasthenia Gravis can be made with the FESS technique. In 60%, we indicate a change in nutritional method: in 20% we indicate percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). With these indications, none of those patients had aspiration pneumonia. Our protocol for the bedside fiberoptic study of neurological patients with dysphagia has demonstrated its efectiveness by eliminating the incidence of aspiration pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC2640054  PMID: 18320832
Dysphagia; Neurological diseases; Aspiration pneumonia; Diagnosis
22.  Preterm Infant Swallowing of Thin and Nectar-Thick Liquids: Changes in Lingual–Palatal Coordination and Relation to Bolus Transit 
Dysphagia  2013;28(2):234-244.
Tongue–soft palate coordination and bolus head pharyngeal transit were studied by means of postacquisition kinematic analysis of videofluoroscopic swallowing images of ten preterm infants referred from hospital NICUs due to poor oral feeding and suspicion of aspiration. Sequences of coordinated tongue–soft palate movements and bolus transits during swallows of thin-consistency and nectar-thick-consistency barium were digitized, and time series data were used to calculate continuous relative phase, a measure of coordination. During swallows of nectar-thick compared to thin barium, tongue–soft palate coordination was more likely to be antiphase, bolus head pharyngeal transit time was longer, and coordination was significantly correlated with bolus head pharyngeal transit. Analysis of successive swallows indicated that tongue–soft palate coordination variability decreased with nectar-thick but not with thin-consistency barium. Together, the results suggest that slower-moving bolus transits may promote greater opportunity for available sensory information to be used to modulate timing of tongue–soft palate movements so that they are more effective for pumping liquids.
PMCID: PMC3638056  PMID: 23274694
Infant; Swallowing; Coordination; Liquid properties
23.  Improvement of dysphagia in a child affected by Pompe disease treated with enzyme replacement therapy 
Dysphagia is a known complication in Pompe Disease (PD), a severe metabolic myopathy due to alpha-glucosidase deficiency. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with alglucosidase alfa is the only approved therapy for PD. Presently no data are available on the effects of ERT on dysphagia in PD patients. The aim of this work is to evaluate the course of this complication in a 6 years old boy affected by PD after treatment with ERT.
Dysphagia was assessed by Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS) at baseline, before the start of ERT and after 36 months of therapy. We used the Dysphagia Severity Rating Scale (DSS) to define the severity grade of dysphagia.
VFSS performed at baseline revealed complete incoordination of oral stage swallowing which was classified as a grade 1 dysphagia according to DSS. After 36 months of treatment VFSS revealed normal swallowing, classified as grade 0 by DSS.
Our results suggest that ERT is effective in improving dysphagia. VFSS may be a useful tool to investigate and monitor swallowing disorders in patients affected by PD.
PMCID: PMC3667015  PMID: 23668440
Glycogen storage disease type II; Deglutition disorders; Enzyme replacement therapy
24.  Prospective study of swallowing function in patients with cervical dystonia undergoing selective peripheral denervation 
OBJECTIVE—To characterise swallowing function in patients with cervical dystonia with botulinum toxin treatment failure, before and after selective peripheral denervation surgery.
METHODS—Twelve patients with cervical dystonia had a thorough examination including standardised assessment for cervical dystonia, scoring of subjective dysphagia, and videofluoroscopic swallow. Videofluoroscopy was scored by consensus opinion between a speech and language therapist and an independent blinded radiologist using a validated scoring system.
RESULTS—Seven patients with cervical dystonia experienced no subjective dysphagia either before or after surgery, although in all these patients there was objective videofluoroscopic evidence of underlying mild to moderate oropharyngeal dysphagia preoperatively and postoperatively. The most common finding was delayed initiation of swallow. Three other patients, also without subjective dysphagia before surgery, developed postoperative dysphagia. In these patients, videofluoroscopy showed a delayed swallow reflex before surgery, which was worse postoperatively in two. The remaining two patients had mild subjective dysphagia before surgery that improved postoperatively in one and deteriorated in the other. In the first, videofluoroscopy was normal preoperatively and postoperatively, and in the second, oral bolus preparation was moderately abnormal preoperatively and swallow initiation was delayed postoperatively. Mean subjective dysphagia scores did not change significantly. Apart from a significant improvement of tongue base retraction, videofluoroscopic scores were not significantly different after surgery. Postoperatively there was significant improvement of overall cervical dystonia severity and abnormal head rotation in the group as a whole. There was no correlation between age, duration of symptoms of cervical dystonia, preoperative or postoperative cervical dystonia severity, subjective dysphagia scores, or videofluoroscopic scores. However, in the five patients with persisting anterior sagittal head shift as part of the torticollis, tongue base retraction was less likely to improve after surgery compared with those without head shift.
CONCLUSION—Surgical denervation of dystonic neck muscles, leading to improved neck posture, can also improve tongue base retraction, which is a key component of normal bolus propagation. However, delayed swallow initiation, a common feature in patients with cervical dystonia, can be further compromised by surgery, leading to subjective dysphagia. In general, selective peripheral denervation seems to be a safe procedure with no major compromise of swallowing function.

PMCID: PMC1737449  PMID: 11413266
25.  Feeding problems in merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1999;80(6):542-547.
Feeding difficulties were assessed in 14 children (age range 2-14 years) with merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy, a disease characterised by severe muscle weakness and inability to achieve independent ambulation. Twelve of the 14 children were below the 3rd centile for weight. On questioning, all parents thought their child had difficulty chewing, 12 families modified the diet, and 13 children took at least 30 minutes to complete a meal. On examination the mouth architecture was abnormal in 13 children. On videofluoroscopy only the youngest child (2 years old), had a normal study. The others all had an abnormal oral phase (breakdown and manipulation of food and transfer to oropharynx). Nine had an abnormal pharyngeal phase, with a delayed swallow reflex. Three of these also showed pooling of food in the larynx and three showed frank aspiration. These six cases all had a history of recurrent chest infections. Six of eight children who had pH monitoring also had gastro-oesophageal reflux. As a result of the study five children had a gastrostomy, which stopped the chest infections and improved weight gain. This study shows that children with merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy have difficulties at all stages of feeding that progress with age. Appropriate intervention can improve weight gain and reduce chest infections. The severity of the problem has not been previously appreciated in this disease, and the study shows the importance of considering the nutritional status in any child with a primary muscle disorder.

PMCID: PMC1717951  PMID: 10332004

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