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.
To investigate whether patterns of swallowing difficulties were associated with the location of the brain lesion, cognitive function, and severity of stroke in stroke patients.
Seventy-six patients with first-time acute stroke were included in the present investigation. Swallowing-related parameters, which were assessed videofluoroscopically, included impairment of lip closure, decreased tongue movement, amount of oral remnant, premature loss of food material, delay in oral transit time, laryngealelevation, delay in pharyngeal triggering time, presence of penetration or aspiration, and the amount of vallecular and pyriform sinus remnants. The locations of brain lesions were classified into the frontal, parietotemporal, subcortical, medulla, pons, and cerebellum. The degree of cognitive impairment and the severity of stroke were assessed by the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), respectively.
An insufficient laryngealelevation, the amount of pyriform sinus, and vallecular space remnant in addition to the incidence of aspiration were correlated with medullary infarction. Other swallowing parameters were not related to lesion topology. Lip closure dysfunction, decreased tongue movement, increased oral remnant and premature loss were associated with low MMSE scores. A delayed oral transit time were associated with NIHSS scores.
In-coordination of the lip, the tongue, and the oropharynx were associated with the degree of cognitive impairment and the stroke severity rather than with the location of the lesion, whereas incomplete laryngealelevation and aspiration were predominant in medullary lesions.
[Purpose] This study examined the effects of neck exercises using PNF on the swallowing function of stroke patients with dysphasia. [Subjects and Methods] A total of 26 study subjects were selected and randomly divided into an experimental group of 13 subjects, who received the PNF-based short neck flexion exercises, and a control group of 13 subjects, who received the Shaker exercise. [Results] The experimental group showed statistically significant improvements in premature bolus loss, residue in the valleculae, laryngealelevation, epiglottic closure, residue in the pyriform sinuses, and coating of the pharyngeal wall after swallowing, and improvements in pharyngeal transit time, and aspiration on both the new VFSS scale and the ASHA NOMS scale. [Conclusion] PNF-based short neck flexion exercises appear to be effective at improving swallowing function of stroke 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.
To investigate the effect of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on post-stroke dysphagia.
Subacute (<3 months), unilateral hemispheric stroke patients with dysphagia were randomly assigned to the conventional dysphagiatherapy (CDT), rTMS, or NMES groups. In rTMS group, rTMS was performed at 100% resting motor threshold with 1 Hz frequency for 20 minutes per session (5 days per week for 2 weeks). In NMES group, electrical stimulation was applied to the anterior neck for 30 minutes per session (5 days per week for 2 weeks). All three groups were given conventional dysphagia therapy for 4 weeks. We evaluated the functional dysphagia scale (FDS), pharyngeal transit time (PTT), the penetration-aspiration scale (PAS), and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association National Outcomes Measurement System (ASHA NOMS) swallowing scale at baseline, after 2 weeks, and after 4 weeks.
Forty-seven patients completed the study; 15 in the CDT group, 14 in the rTMS group, and 18 in the NMES group. Mean changes in FDS and PAS for liquid during first 2 weeks in the rTMS and NMES groups were significantly higher than those in the CDT group, but no significant differences were found between the rTMS and NMES group. No significant difference in mean changes of FDS and PAS for semi-solid, PTT, and ASHA NOMS was observed among the three groups.
These results indicated that both low-frequency rTMS and NMES could induce early recovery from dysphagia; therefore, they both could be useful therapeutic options for dysphagic stroke patients.
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.
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.
Stroke is the most common neurological disease in adults that is associated with deglutition disorders. The presence of laryngeal sensitivity is very important in developing safe swallowing without risk of pulmonary complications. The aim of this study was to correlate laryngeal sensitivity with laryngeal penetration and tracheal aspiration after swallows of three food consistencies (puree, thickened liquid, and liquid) in poststroke individuals in the late phase. A cross-sectional clinical study was performed with 91 post-ischemic stroke individuals, with oropharyngeal dysphagia, who were in rehabilitation center treatment from 2009 to 2011. They had a mean age of 68.1 years and average time since injury was 22.6 months; 39 had injury to the right hemisphere and 52 had injury to the left hemisphere. All underwent fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing and evaluation of laryngeal sensitivity by touching the tip of the endoscope to the arytenoids and aryepiglottic folds. The linear correlation coefficient of Spearman was applied to evaluate the correlation between laryngeal penetration and tracheal aspiration and the presence/absence of laryngeal sensitivity. There was a negative correlation between the observation of penetration and tracheal aspiration and laryngeal sensitivity, with all bolus consistencies (p < 0.001 for aspiration and p ≤ 0.01 for penetration). The absence of laryngeal sensitivity determines the more frequent findings of penetration and tracheal aspiration. This sensory stimulus in the mucosa of the pharynx and larynx is an essential element for safe swallowing and its deficiency associated with altered motor activity can cause laryngeal penetration and aspiration in poststroke individuals regardless of food consistency.
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.
Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2013 May-Jun;48(3):283-96.
Dysphagia is common after stroke, leading to adverse outcome. There is a paucity of high-quality evidence for dysphagia therapy, thus making it difficult to determine the best approaches to treatment. Clinical decisions are often based on usual practice, however no formal method of monitoring practice patterns exists.
To determine speech and language therapists’ (SLTs) approaches to direct dysphagia therapy with stroke patients in the UK and Ireland.
METHODS & PROCEDURES:
A 24-item questionnaire was developed, piloted and delivered in a web-based cross-sectional survey targeting all SLTs working with stroke patients in the UK and Ireland.
OUTCOMES & RESULTS:
A total of 138 SLTs responded from a range of clinical settings and levels of experience. There was variation in the responses to all questions. Respondents reported treating patients a median of once a day, 3 days a week for 15 min. The most commonly recommended direct exercises were supervised swallow trials (recommended ‘frequently or always’ by 73%). Despite most respondents having access to an instrumental swallowing assessment, over half reported rarely or never conducting one before recommending exercises. Most (93%) did not use a protocol for systematically progressing patients’ exercises and only 37% reported using standardized outcome measures.
CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS:
This survey gives valuable insight into the direct dysphagia therapy practices of SLTs based in the UK and Ireland working in stroke. It highlights discrepancies between reported approaches and recommendations from existing evidence and clinical guidelines. The variation in responses indicates a need to develop a consensus statement and further research to guide practice.