PURPOSE: To clinically evaluate oropharyngeal swallowing in dysphagic patients with Chagas disease, and to compare anamnesis data among chagasic subjects according to the degree of megaesophagus.
METHODS: An evaluation protocol was used to assess the swallowing of 21 patients with Chagas disease and involvement of the esophagus, diagnosed through serology and radiologic evaluation of the esophagus, and 18 asymptomatic healthy subjects paired by age and gender. Both groups answered an anamnesis that addressed questions related to dysphagia complaint. After this procedure, it was carried out a clinical evaluation of swallowing, involving both structural and functional aspects, with and without the introduction of oral feeding with liquid and pasty consistencies. The results were statistically analyzed. This is an experimental and transversal study.
RESULTS: A larger number of chagasic patients presented multiple swallows and reduced laryngeal elevation during deglutition of food with pasty and liquid consistencies, when compared to healthy subjects. Patients with increased esophageal diameter reported weight loss more frequently, when compared to patients with normal esophageal diameter.
CONCLUSION: Chagasic patients might present oropharyngeal swallowing alterations, and patients with more significant esophageal involvement present more weight loss than patients with less esophageal involvement.
Keywords: Deglutition; Deglutition disorders/etiology; Chagas disease/complications; Esophageal achalasia; Esophagus/pathology