Reduced tongue pressure against the hard palate on the paralyzed side during swallowing predicts Dysphagia in patients with acute stroke

Hirota N, Konaka K, Ono T, Tamine K, Kondo J, Hori K, Yoshimuta Y, Maeda Y, Sakoda S, Naritomi H.

Stroke. 2010 Dec;41(12):2982-4. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Dysphagia is important for prognosis in patients with stroke because this condition can cause aspiration pneumonia or nutritional deficits. The present study investigated the relationship between tongue motor deficits and dysphagia in patients with acute stroke.

METHODS:

Maximal tongue pressure on the hard palate when swallowing 5 mL of water was measured using a T-shaped sensor sheet with 5 measuring points in 33 dysphagic and 31 nondysphagic patients with acute stroke. Maximum tongue pressures at each measuring point were compared between dysphagic and nondysphagic groups and between paralyzed and nonparalyzed sides.

RESULTS:

Tongue pressure at each measuring point was significantly smaller in dysphagic patients than in nondysphagic patients with the largest significant difference on the paralyzed side. The magnitude of tongue pressure to predict dysphagia was calculated as 4.6 kPa on the paralyzed side, offering 71.4% sensitivity and 72.3% specificity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reduced tongue pressure on the paralyzed side may predict dysphagia in patients with acute stroke.

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