Dysphagia–pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment

Cecconi E; Di Piero V

Front Neurol Neurosci;30:86-9, 2012.

Dysphagia is an extremely common disorder after stroke, affecting as many as half of acute stroke sufferers. It is associated with respiratory complications, increased risk of aspiration pneumonia, nutritional compromise and dehydration, and detracts from quality of life. For this reason, dysphagia significantly affects outcome and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Formal dysphagia screening protocols significantly reduce the rate of pneumonia and improve general outcome. Furthermore, early behavioral swallowing interventions are associated with a more favorable outcome in dysphagic stroke patients. This chapter reviews the pathophysiology of swallowing dysfunction, and the diagnosis and treatment of patients with dysphagia after an acute stroke.

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