Dysphagia diagnostics and therapy of acute stroke : Federal survey of certified stroke units

Suntrup S, Meisel A, Dziewas R, Ende F, Reichmann H, Heuschmann P, Ickenstein GW.

Nervenarzt. 2012 Jul 5. [Epub ahead of print] German.



Due to malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia dysphagia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in acute stroke patients. Early detection of patients at risk of dysphagia leading to timely treatment improves the outcome.


A survey concerning the current state of dysphagia diagnostics and therapy was carried out among certified stoke units in Germany.


Of the 163 invited hospitals 51% participated in the study. A standardized dysphagia program lying mainly within the responsibility of speech language therapists (64%) is established in 94%. Main elements are swallowing assessments carried out by nurses (72%) and the clinical swallowing examination (93%). Instrumental diagnostics are available in 55% with videoendoscopy (52%) being more widely used than videofluoroscopy (17%). In the acute stage nutrition with texture modified diets is the primary therapeutic strategy.


Structured programs for the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia have generally been established but individual strategies differ and differences in the quality of care are obvious.


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