Effectiveness of chin-down posture to prevent tracheal aspiration in dysphagia secondary to acquired brain injury. A videofluoroscopy study.

Terré R, Mearin F.

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012 May;24(5):414-9, e206. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2011.01869.x. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The chin-down posture is generally recommended in patients with neurogenic dysphagia to prevent tracheal aspiration; however, its effectiveness has not been demonstrated.

AIM:

To videofluoroscopically (VDF) assess the effectiveness of chin-down posture to prevent aspiration in patients with neurogenic dysphagia secondary to acquired brain injury.

METHODS:

Randomized, alternating, cross-over study (with and without the chin-down posture) in 47 patients with a VDF diagnosis of aspiration [31 stroke, 16 traumatic brain injury (TBI)] and 25 controls without aspiration (14 stroke, 11 TBI). Key

RESULTS:

During the chin-down posture, 55% of patients avoided aspiration (40% preswallow aspiration and 60% aspiration during swallow). The percentage was similar in both etiologies (58% stroke and 50% TBI). Fifty-one percent of patients had silent aspiration; of these, 48% persisted with aspiration while in the chin-down posture. A statistically significant relationship was found between the existence of pharyngeal residue, cricopharyngeal dysfunction, pharyngeal delay time and bolus volume with the persistence of aspiration. The chin-down posture did not change swallow biomechanics in patients without aspiration.

CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES:

Only half the patients with acquired brain injury avoided aspiration during cervical flexion; 48% of silent aspirators continued to aspire during the maneuver. Several videofluoroscopic parameters were related to inefficiency of the maneuver. Therefore, the indication for chin-down posture should be evaluated by videofluoroscopic examination.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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