Stroke is one of the main causes of permanent lesions in adults and can provoke global motor sequels, speech and language alterations, and swallowing. During the acute phase, the detection of aspiration risks is essential to prevent lung complications and to allow appropriate therapeutic interventions, making possible precocious oral feeding. In the literature, the correlations between the disturbance of the deglutition and the location of the lesion in patients with stroke are not specific. This way, the objective of the present study was to determine if correlation exists between the location of the vascular lesion and dysphagia in acute ischemic stroke patients. Bedside clinical evaluation of deglutition was made in 27 patients with acute ischemic stroke and the results were compared with the computed tomography findings. In the clinical evaluation, 48% patients were dysphagic and 52% had functional deglutition. In dysphagic patients, 84% had lesion in carotid territory, with 76% in the middle cerebral artery. In patients with functional deglutition, 57% had lesion in the middle cerebral artery and 22% in the posterior cerebral artery. In 50% of the patients with functional deglutition and in 46% of the dysphagics the lesion was in the left hemisphere. In conclusion, the hemispherical location is not associated with the presence or not of dysphagia, however most of the dysphagic patients presented alterations in the carotid territory, especially in the middle cerebral artery.
Key words: dysphagia, deglutition disorders, stroke.