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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.
Objective
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).
Method
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2011.35.4.477
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.
Objective
To evaluate demographic characteristics of children with suspected dysphagia who underwent videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) and to identify factors related to penetration or aspiration.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2014.38.6.734
PMCID: PMC4280368  PMID: 25566471
Fluoroscopy; Pediatrics; Dysphagia; Premature infant; Aspiration pneumonia
3.  The Effect of Bedside Exercise Program on Stroke Patients with Dysphagia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(4):512-520.
Objective
To examine the effects of a bedside exercise program on the recovery of swallowing after a stroke.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2012.36.4.512
PMCID: PMC3438418  PMID: 22977777
Dysphagia; Videofluoroscopic swallowing study; Bedside exercise
4.  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.
doi:10.1007/s00455-011-9351-3
PMCID: PMC3715062  PMID: 21773847
Vocal cord paralysis; Video fluoroscopic swallowing study; Dysphagia; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders
5.  Use of Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study in Patients with Aspiration Pneumonia 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(6):785-790.
Objective
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.
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2012.36.6.785
PMCID: PMC3546180  PMID: 23342310
Aspiration pneumonia; Dysphagia
6.  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.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.3.425
PMCID: PMC3051092  PMID: 21394313
Dysphasia; Stroke; Brain Injuries; Fluoroscopy; Diet; Food
7.  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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2012.36.1.148
PMCID: PMC3309320  PMID: 22506249
Guillain-Barré syndrome; Dysphagia; Pyridostigmine bromide
8.  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.
doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2009.10.001
PMCID: PMC2844905  PMID: 20181397
Infant; coordination; swallowing; videofluoroscopy; dysphagia; tongue; soft palate
9.  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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2014.38.5.707
PMCID: PMC4221402  PMID: 25379503
Fluoroscopy; Cleft palate; Treacher Collins
10.  The Effects of Removable Denture on Swallowing 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2013;37(2):247-253.
Objective
To investigate the relationship between removable dentures and swallowing and describe risks.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2013.37.2.247
PMCID: PMC3660487  PMID: 23705121
Dysphagia; Removable partial denture; Swallowing
11.  Swallowing transit times and valleculae residue in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-62
PMCID: PMC4004463  PMID: 24739506
COPD; Videofluoroscopy; Swallowing; Swallowing disorders
12.  Inter-rater Reliability of Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(6):791-796.
Objective
To investigate the inter-rater agreement using the Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale (VDS).
Method
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2012.36.6.791
PMCID: PMC3546181  PMID: 23342311
VDS; Reliability; Inter-rater; Dysphagia; VFSS
13.  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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181752ce7
PMCID: PMC3791885  PMID: 19179881
Dysphagia; Motility; Neonates; Videofluoroscopic swallow study
14.  Effect of the Order of Test Diets on the Accuracy and Safety of Swallowing Studies 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2014;38(3):304-309.
Objective
To assess whether the order of test diets influences the results of swallowing studies with regard to their accuracy and safety.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
The accuracy and safety of the swallowing studies do not rely on the order of test diets.
doi:10.5535/arm.2014.38.3.304
PMCID: PMC4092169  PMID: 25024952
Deglutition disorders; Diet; Deglutition; Evaluation studies
15.  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
16.  Electrophysiological evaluation of oropharyngeal swallowing in myotonic dystrophy 
OBJECTIVE—Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a common feature of patients with myotonic dystrophy and is not usually perceived due to their emotional deficits and lack of interest. The aim was to show the existence and frequency of subclinical electrophysiological abnormalities in oropharyngeal swallowing and to clarify the mechanisms of dysphagia in myotonic dystrophy.
METHODS—Eighteen patients with myotonic dystrophy were examined for oropharyngeal phase of swallowing by clinical and electrophysiological methods. Ten patients had dysphagia whereas 11 patients had signs and symptoms reflecting CNS involvement. Four patients with myotonia congenita and 30 healthy volunteers served as controls. Laryngeal movements were detected by means of a piezoelectric sensor. EMG activities of the submental muscle (SM-EMG) and needle EMG of the cricopharyngeal muscle of the upper eosophageal sphincter (CP-EMG) were also recorded during swallowing.
RESULTS—In about 70% of the patients with myotonic dystrophy, the existence of oropharyngeal dysphagia was indicated objectively by means of the technique of "dysphagia limit" and by clinical evaluation. Duration of the swallowing reflex as defined by the laryngeal relocation time (0-2 time interval) and submental muscle excitation as a part of the swallowing reflex (A-C interval) were significantly prolonged in patients with myotonic dystrophy, especially in dysphagic patients. Triggering time of the swallowing reflex (A-0 interval) also showed significant prolongation, especially in the patients having both dysphagia and CNS involvement. During swallowing, CP muscle activity was abnormal in 40% of the patients with myotonic dystrophy.
CONCLUSION—Both myopathic weakness and myotonia encountered in oropharyngeal muscles play an important part in the oral and the pharyngeal phases of swallowing dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy. It was also suggested that CNS involvement might contribute to the delay of the triggering of the swallowing reflex and some abnormal EMG findings in the CP sphincter, resulting in oropharyngeal dysphagia in myotonic dystrophy.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.70.3.363
PMCID: PMC1737233  PMID: 11181860
17.  Endoscopic evaluation of neurological dysphagic patients 
Summary
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
18.  Comparison of Swallowing Functions Between Brain Tumor and Stroke Patients 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2013;37(5):633-641.
Objective
To compare the swallowing functions according to the lesion locations between brain tumor and stroke patients.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.5535/arm.2013.37.5.633
PMCID: PMC3825939  PMID: 24231855
Brain tumor; Dysphagia; Videofluoroscopic swallowing study; Infratentorial lesion; Malignancy
19.  Clinical signs of dysphagia in infants with acute viral bronchiolitis☆  
Revista Paulista de Pediatria  2014;32(3):157-163.
Objective:
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.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
doi:10.1590/0103-0582201432302
PMCID: PMC4227334  PMID: 25479843
Bronchiolitis; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders; Infant
20.  Improvement of dysphagia in a child affected by Pompe disease treated with enzyme replacement therapy 
Aim
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-39-30
PMCID: PMC3667015  PMID: 23668440
Glycogen storage disease type II; Deglutition disorders; Enzyme replacement therapy
21.  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.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.71.1.67
PMCID: PMC1737449  PMID: 11413266
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.
doi:10.1007/s00455-012-9440-y
PMCID: PMC3638056  PMID: 23274694
Infant; Swallowing; Coordination; Liquid properties
23.  Respiratory-Swallowing Coordination and Swallowing Safety in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease 
Dysphagia  2010;26(3):218-224.
The purpose of this study was to determine if individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) demonstrate abnormal respiratory events when swallowing thin liquids. In addition, this study sought to define associations between respiratory events, swallowing apnea duration, and penetration–aspiration (P–A) scale scores. Thirty-nine individuals with PD were administered ten trials of a 5-ml thin liquid bolus. P–A scale score quantified the presence of penetration and aspiration during the swallowing of a 3-oz sequential bolus. Participants were divided into two groups based on swallowing safety judged during the 3-oz sequential swallowing: Group 1 = P–A ≤ 2; Group 2 = P–A ≥ 3. Swallows were examined using videofluoroscopy coupled with a nasal cannula to record respiratory signals during the event(s). Findings indicated that expiration was the predominant respiratory event before and after swallowing apnea. The data revealed no differences in our cohort versus the percentages of post-swallowing events reported in the literature for healthy adults. In addition, individuals with decreased swallowing safety, as measured by the P–A scale, were more likely to inspire after swallows and to have shorter swallowing apnea duration. Individuals who inspired before swallow also had longer swallowing apnea duration. The occurrence of inspiratory events after a swallow and the occurrence of shorter swallowing apnea durations may serve as important indicators during clinical swallowing assessments in patients at risk for penetration or aspiration with PD.
doi:10.1007/s00455-010-9289-x
PMCID: PMC3762686  PMID: 20623304
Dysphagia; Penetration–aspiration; Inspiration; Expiration; Parkinson’s disease; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders
24.  VFMSS findings in elderly dysphagic patients: our experience 
BMC Surgery  2013;13(Suppl 2):S54.
Background
Dysphagia consists in alteration of the swallowing mechanism, due to different pathological conditions, which can occur at different levels. The exact prevalence of dysphagia is unclear, even if some AA suggest that 15% of the elderly population is affected. Aim of this study is to analyze the main VFMSS findings in elderly dysphagic patients.
Materials and methods
The VFMSS of 59 elderly dysphagic patients (32 women, 27 men, ranging in age from 68 to 89 years, mean 81 years) who undergone speech therapy assessment and videofluoromanometric (VFM) investigation of the swallowing process at our institution from January 2011 and December 2012, were retrospectively reviewed.
Results
In the oral phase the preparation and the initial stage of swallowing should be explored by videofluoroscopy evaluating the ability to contain food in mouth and to form a bolus and whether there is an inadequate convergence of Passavant's ridge with preswallowing aspiration. In the pharyngeal phase is necessary to evaluate at videofluoroscopy if there is penetration and/or aspiration and the efficacy of laryngeal closure should be assessed too.
The major manometric indicators are: proximal pharyngeal pressure (mmHg), distal pharyngeal pressure (mmHg), relaxation and coordination of upper esophageal sphincter (UES). In the esophageal phase is important to evaluate the esophageal motility and the presence of peristalsis.
The manometric parameters used for LES were resting pressure, total length and percentage of post-deglutitive relaxation.
Conclusion
The VFSS represents a fundamental examination in the management of the dysphagic patient; this investigation may be associated with manometry providing anatomical and functional informations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-13-S2-S54
PMCID: PMC3851185  PMID: 24267870
25.  A timed test of swallowing capacity for neurological patients. 
A timed test of swallowing capacity has been designed for use in patients with neurogenic dysphagia. Swallowing speed (ml/s) has been demonstrated to have high intra- and inter- rater and test- retest reliability, and to be essentially independent of flavour or temperature. "Guideline" normal values were established in individuals without a swallowing disorder: swallowing speed was less in females than males and declined in both groups with age. The validity of a swallowing speed less than 10 ml/s as an index of abnormal swallowing was tested by comparison with the complaint of abnormal swallowing in a group of 81 neurological patients. Swallowing speed had a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 69%: some apparent false positive responses were found in patients with disordered swallowing, mainly due to multiple sclerosis. Using a standard questionnaire and examination a similar pattern of symptoms and signs were statistically associated with both the clinical complaint of abnormal swallowing and swallowing speed. It is concluded that swallowing speed is a reliable and valid index for assessing disordered swallowing in neurological patients and may be of value in monitoring response to therapy.
PMCID: PMC1015108  PMID: 1402974

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