Lingual resistance training has been proposed as an intervention to improve decreased tongue pressure strength and endurance in patients with dysphagia. However, little is known about the impact of lingual resistance training on swallow physiology. This systematic review scrutinizes the available evidence regarding the effects of lingual resistance training on swallowing function in studies using Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Studies (VFSS) with adults. Seven articles met the inclusion criteria and underwent detailed review for study quality, data extraction, and planned meta-analysis. Included studies applied this intervention to a stroke and brain injury patient populations or to healthy participants, applied different training protocols, and used a number of outcome measures, making it difficult to generalize results. Lingual resistance training protocols included anterior and posterior tongue strengthening, accuracy training, and effortful press against hard palate with varying treatment durations. VFSS protocols typically included a thin barium stimulus along with one other consistency to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Swallowing measures included swallow safety, efficiency, and temporal measures. Temporal measures significantly improved in one study, while safety improvements showed mixed results across studies. Reported improvements in swallowing efficiency were limited to reductions in thin liquid barium residue in two studies. Overall, the evidence regarding the impact of lingual resistance training for dysphagia is mixed. Meta-analysis was not possible due to differences in methods and outcome measurements across studies. Reporting all aspects of training and details regarding VFSS protocols is crucial for the reproducibility of these interventions.
Future investigations should focus on completing robust analyses of swallowing kinematics and function following tongue pressure training to determine efficacy for swallowing function.
Sensory input can alter swallowing control in both the cortex and brainstem. Electrical stimulation of superior laryngeal nerve afferents increases reflexive swallowing in animals, with different frequencies optimally effective across species. Here we determined 1) if neck vibration overlying the larynx affected the fundamental frequency of the voice demonstrating penetration of vibration into the laryngeal tissues, and 2) if vibration, in comparison with sham, increased spontaneous swallowing and enhanced cortical hemodynamic responses to swallows in the swallowing network. A device with two motors, one over each thyroid lamina, delivered intermittent 10-s epochs of vibration. We recorded swallows and event-related changes in blood oxygenation level to swallows over the motor and sensory swallowing cortexes bilaterally using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Ten healthy participants completed eight 20-min conditions in counterbalanced order with either epochs of continuous vibration at 30, 70, 110, 150, and 70 + 110 Hz combined, 4-Hz pulsed vibration at 70 + 110 Hz, or two sham conditions without stimulation. Stimulation epochs were separated by interstimulus intervals varying between 30 and 45 s in duration. Vibration significantly reduced the fundamental frequency of the voice compared with no stimulation demonstrating that vibration penetrated laryngeal tissues. Vibration at 70 and at 150 Hz increased spontaneous swallowing compared with sham. Hemodynamic responses to swallows in the motor cortex were enhanced during conditions containing stimulation compared with sham. As vibratory stimulation on the neck increased spontaneous swallowing and enhanced cortical activation for swallows in healthy participants, it may be useful for enhancing swallowing in patients with dysphagia.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Vibratory stimulation at 70 and 150 Hz on the neck overlying the larynx increased the frequency of spontaneous swallowing. Simultaneously vibration also enhanced hemodynamic responses in the motor cortex to swallows when recorded with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). As vibrotactile stimulation on the neck enhanced cortical activation for swallowing in healthy participants, it may be useful for enhancing swallowing in patients with dysphagia.
Early identification of dysphagia is associated with lower rates of pneumonia after acute stroke. The Barnes-Jewish Hospital-Stroke Dysphagia Screen (BJH-SDS) was previously developed as a simple bedside screen performed by nurses for sensitive detection of dysphagia and was previously validated against the speech pathologist’s clinical assessment for dysphagia. In this study, acute stroke patients were prospectively enrolled to assess the accuracy of the BJH-SDS when tested against the gold-standard test for dysphagia, the video-fluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS).
Acute stroke patients were prospectively enrolled at a large tertiary care inpatient stroke unit. The nurse performed the BJH-SDS at the bedside. After providing consent, patients then underwent VFSS for determination of dysphagia and aspiration. The VFSS was performed by a speech pathologist who was blinded to the results of the BJH-SDS. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Pneumonia rates were assessed across the five year period over which the BJH-SDS was introduced into the Stroke Unit.
A total of 225 acute stroke patients were enrolled. Sensitivity and specificity of the screen to detect dysphagia were 94% and 66%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of the screen to detect aspiration were 95% and 50%, respectively. No increase in pneumonia was identified during implementation of the screen (p=0.33).
The BJH-SDS, validated against video-fluoroscopy, is a simple bedside screen for sensitive identification of dysphagia and aspiration in the stroke population.
Dysphagia affects up to half of stroke patients and increases the risk of pneumonia and fatal outcomes. In order to assess swallowing difficulty, videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) has traditionally been the gold standard. The purpose of this study was to compare the patterns of post-stroke swallowing difficulties according to the vascular territories involved in the stroke. One hundred and three patients who were diagnosed with first ischemic stroke by brain magnetic resonance imaging and had swallowing difficulty were included in this study. Location of the stroke was classified into three groups: territorial anterior infarcts (TAI) (n = 62), territorial posterior infarcts (TPI) (n = 19) and white matter disease (WMD) (n = 22). Oral cavity residue existed significantly in the TAI group more than in any other groups (P = 0.017). The WMD group showed more residue in the valleculae (P = 0.002) and the TPI group showed more residue in the pyriform sinuses (P = 0.001). The oral transit time, pharyngeal delay time and pharyngeal transit time did not show significant differences among the groups with swallowing of both thick and thin liquids. Penetration and aspiration were more frequent in the TPI group (P < 0.05) with swallowing of both thick and thin liquids. The results suggest that TAI is more related to oral phase dysfunction and TPI is more related to pharyngeal dysfunction. In ischemic stroke, patterns of swallowing difficulty may differ according to the vascular territory involved and this should be considered in the management of post-strokedysphagia.
The implication of dysphagia for people treated nonsurgically for head and neck cancer (HNC) and its detrimental effects on functioning and quality of life has been well documented. To date, however, there has been a paucity of research on the effects of dysphagia following HNC on carers, independent of the consequences of a gastrostomy. The objective of this qualitative study was to report on the experiences of carers of people with dysphagia (non-gastrostomy dependent) following nonsurgical treatment for HNC and to identify the support needs of this group. A purposive, maximum-variation sampling technique was adopted to recruit 12 carers of people treated curatively for HNC since 2007. Each participated in an in-depth interview, detailing their experience of caring for someone with dysphagia and the associated impact on their life. Thematic analysis was adopted to search the transcripts for key phases and themes that emerged from the discussions. Analysis of the transcripts revealed four themes: (1) dysphagia disrupts daily life, (2) carers make adjustments to adapt to their partner’s dysphagia, (3) the disconnect between carers’ expectations and the reality of dysphagia, and (4) experiences of dysphagia-related services and informal supports. Carers generally felt ill-prepared for their role in dysphagia management. The qualitative methodology successfully described the impact of dysphagia on the everyday lives of carers, particularly in regard to meal preparation, social events, and family lifestyle. Clinicians should provide adequate and timely training and support to carers and view carers as copartners in dysphagia management.
Bicego A, Lejoly K, Maudoux A, Lefebvre P, Laureys S, Schweizer V, Diserens K, Faymonville ME, Vanhaudenhuyse A.
Rev Neurol (Paris). 2014 Jun 18.
Interest in studying swallowing disorders in patients with altered consciousness has increased over the past decade. Swallowing deficit is frequently encountered in severe brain-injured patients.
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Results of studies have highlighted different factors such as the delay between the injury and the treatment and the level of consciousness of these patients, as well as the presence or not of tracheotomy, which will determine the feasibility of resuming oral feeding. Nowadays, very few valid and sensitive scales can be used to assess swallowing deficit in patients with disorders of consciousness. The Facial Oral Tract Therapy (FOTT) scale is an inter-professional multidisciplinary approach offering a structured way to evaluate and treat patients with swallowing disorders. In contrast with other scales, patients do not have to follow verbal instructions for the FOTT.
This paper presents a review of existing literature on the assessment and management of swallowing disorders in patients with altered state of consciousness, and a description of the FOTT method.
The FOTT seems to be an interesting assessment and rehabilitation tool for patients with disorders of consciousness. However, clinical studies are needed to confirm the validity and sensitivity of this technique.
To compare the outcome of an early application of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) combined with traditional dysphagia therapy (TDT) versus traditional dysphagia therapy only in acute/subacute ischemic stroke patients with moderate to severe dysphagia by videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).
Fifty-seven dysphagic stroke patients were enrolled in a VFSS within 10 days after stroke onset. Patients were randomly assigned into two treatment groups. Thirty-one patients received NMES combined with TDT (NMES/TDT group) and 26 patients received TDT only (TDT group). Electrical stimulation with a maximal tolerable intensity was applied on both suprahyoid muscles for 30 minutes, 5 days per week during 3 weeks. The swallowing function was evaluated at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 weeks after baseline. Outcomes of the VFSS were assessed using the Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS).
The mean ages were 63.5±11.4 years in the NMES/TDT group and 66.7±9.5 years in the TDT group. Both groups showed a significant improvement on the FOIS after treatment. The FOIS score was significantly more improved at 3 and 6 weeks after baseline in the NMES/TDT group than in the TDT group (p<0.05).
An early application of NMES combined with TDT showed a positive effect in acute/subacute ischemic stroke patients with dysphagia. These results indicated that the early application of NMES could be used as a supplementary treatment of TDT to help rehabilitate acute/subacute dysphagic stroke patients by improving their swallowing coordination.
A perceptible change in phonation characteristics after a swallow has long been considered evidence that food and∕or drink material has entered the laryngeal vestibule and is on the surface of the vocal folds as they vibrate. The current paper investigates the acoustic characteristics of phonation when liquid material is present on the vocal folds, using ex vivo porcine larynges as a model. Consistent with instrumental examinations of swallowing disorders or dysphagia in humans, three liquids of different Varibar viscosity (“thin liquid,” “nectar,” and “honey”) were studied at constant volume. The presence of materials on the folds during phonation was generally found to suppress the higher frequency harmonics and generate intermittent additional frequencies in the low and high end of the acoustic spectrum. Perturbation measures showed a higher percentage of jitter and shimmer when liquid material was present on the folds during phonation, but they were unable to differentiate statistically between the three fluid conditions. The finite correlation dimension and positive Lyapunov exponent measures indicated that the presence of materials on the vocal folds excited a chaotic system. Further, these measures were able to reliably differentiate between the baseline and different types of liquid on the vocal folds.
Daiane Bassi1, Ana Maria Furkim1, Cristiane Alves Silva2, Mara Sérgia Pacheco Honório Coelho1, Maria Rita Pimenta Rolim1, Maria Luiza Aires de Alencar1, Marcos José Machado1
)Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – UFSC – Florianópolis (SC), Brazil
2)Fundação Catarinense de Educação Especial – FCEE – São José (SC), Brazil
To identify risk groups for oropharyngeal dysphagia in hospitalized patients in a university hospital.
The study was design as an exploratory cross-sectional with quantitative data analysis. The researched population consisted of 32 patients admitted to the medical clinic at the university hospital. Patient history data were collected, followed by a universal swallowing screening which included functional feeding assessment, to observe clinical signs and symptoms of dysphagia, and assessment of nutritional status through anthropometric data and laboratory tests.
Of the total sample, the majority of patients was male over 60 years. The most common comorbidities related to patients with signs and symptoms of dysphagia were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, systemic arterial hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus and acute myocardial infarction. The food consistency that showed higher presence of clinical signs of aspiration was pudding and the predominant sign was wet voice.
There is a high incidence of risk for oropharyngeal dysphagia in hospitalized patients and an even higher rate of hospitalized patients with nutritional deficits or already malnourished. Hospitalized patients with respiratory diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and patients with xerostomia were indicated as risk group for oropharyngeal dysphagia.
Spontaneous swallowing frequency has been described as an index of dysphagia in various health conditions. This study evaluated the potential of spontaneous swallow frequency analysis as a screening protocol for dysphagia in acute stroke.
In a cohort of 63 acute stroke cases, swallow frequency rates (swallows per minute [SPM]) were compared with stroke and swallow severity indices, age, time from stroke to assessment, and consciousness level. Mean differences in SPM were compared between patients with versus without clinically significant dysphagia. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to identify the optimal threshold in SPM, which was compared with a validated clinical dysphagia examination for identification of dysphagia cases. Time series analysis was used to identify the minimally adequate time period to complete spontaneous swallow frequency analysis.
SPM correlated significantly with stroke and swallow severity indices but not with age, time from stroke onset, or consciousness level. Patients with dysphagia demonstrated significantly lower SPM rates. SPM differed by dysphagia severity. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis yielded a threshold of SPM≤0.40 that identified dysphagia (per the criterion referent) with 0.96 sensitivity, 0.68 specificity, and 0.96 negative predictive value. Time series analysis indicated that a 5- to 10-minute sampling window was sufficient to calculate spontaneous swallow frequency to identify dysphagia cases in acute stroke.
Spontaneous swallowing frequency presents high potential to screen for dysphagia in acute stroke without the need for trained, available personnel.