Blog Archives

Pharyngeal Pressures During Swallowing Within and Across Three Sessions: Within-Subject Variance and Order Effects

No studies have investigated within-subject variation in measures of pharyngeal pressures during swallowing across sessions. This study aimed to document the variation in pharyngeal pressures both within and across three sessions. Twenty healthy participants were recruited for three sessions. For each session, peak or nadir pressures were recorded from the upper pharynx (sensor 1), mid-pharynx (sensor 2), and upper esophageal sphincter (sensor 3) during saliva and 10-ml water bolus swallows. Variance was larger across sessions than within sessions for sensors 1 and 2 but comparable for sensor 3. For all sensors there was a high correlation between the variance across sessions and within session (r = 0.92, p < 0.0001). There were no significant order effects of session or of trial at any sensor with estimated order effects less than 2% and the estimated maximum possible change no larger than 5% for trial and no larger than 12% for session. These data offer direction for longitudinal treatment studies in which pharyngeal pressures are an outcome measurement by (1) providing a basis for power calculations, (2) estimating the likely values of any confounding order effects, and (3) providing suggestions for more reliable data analysis.

from Dysphagia

Effect of cricopharyngeus muscle surgery on the pharynx

Relief of CP obstruction by surgery or dilation improves pharyngeal constriction and PES opening. Dilation of the pharynx possibly related to prolonged outlet obstruction does not improve. CP myotomy appears more effective than dilation or botulinum toxin in relieving obstruction.

from The Laryngoscope

Identification of distinct swallowing patterns for different bolus volumes

To investigate the time interval between glottic closure and the opening of upper esophageal sphincter during swallowing, by means of the coupling of electromyographical (EMG) recordings on the thyroarytenoid (TA) and the cricopharyngeus (CP) muscles.

TA-EMG and CP-EMG pause were recorded by concentric needle electrodes using time-locked delay-line circuitry of the EMG apparatus. EMG data obtained from a total of 273 swallows of saliva, 3, 5, 10 and 15ml volumes of water, were compared.

The relation between the onsets of TA-EMG activity and the CP-EMG pause demonstrated three different patterns of swallows. Pattern A was the delay of the onset of TA-EMG between 50–500ms, and pattern B was the overlap of its activity with the CP-EMG pause. Pattern C was the earlier occurrence of the TA-EMG 50-550ms before the CP-EMG pause. Pattern A was the most frequent type of swallows whereas the pattern C appeared during swallowing of larger volumes.

Physiologically, there is a delay of the TA activation after the onset of CP-EMG pause during swallowing of small amounts in healthy subjects.

This physiological phenomenon could be a potential risk of aspiration in patients with neurogenic dysphagia.

from Clinical Neurophysiology

A Randomized Study Comparing the Shaker Exercise with Traditional Therapy: A Preliminary Study

Abstract Seven institutions participated in this small clinical trial that included 19 patients who exhibited oropharyngeal dysphagia on videofluorography (VFG) involving the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and who had a 3-month history of aspiration. All patients were randomized to either traditional swallowing therapy or the Shaker exercise for 6 weeks. Each patient received a modified barium swallow pre- and post-therapy, including two swallows each of 3 ml and 5 ml liquid barium and 3 ml barium pudding. Each videofluorographic study was sent to a central laboratory and digitized in order to measure hyoid and larynx movement as well as UES opening. Fourteen patients received both pre-and post-therapy VFG studies. There was significantly less aspiration post-therapy in patients in the Shaker group. Residue in the various oral and pharyngeal locations did not differ between the groups. With traditional therapy, there were several significant increases from pre- to post-therapy, including superior laryngeal movement and superior hyoid movement on 3-ml pudding swallows and anterior laryngeal movement on 3-ml liquid boluses, indicating significant improvement in swallowing physiology. After both types of therapy there is a significant increase in UES opening width on 3-ml paste swallows.

from Dysphagia

Impaired Opening of the Upper Esophageal Sphincter in Patients with Medullary Infarctions

from Dysphagia

Abstract The aim of this study was to report on nine dysphagic patients with medullary infarction and to evaluate swallowing characteristics based on the location of the lesions.We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of these nine patients. The medullary lesions were midlateral (three patients), dorsolateral (one patient), inferodorsolateral (four patients), and paramedian (one patient). The levels of the lesions were upper (four patients), middle (two patients), upper and middle (two patients), and middle and lower medulla (one patient). Dysphagia after medullary infarction was more common in patients with upper or middle medullary level and dorsolateral medullary level lesions. The common findings on videofluoroscopic swallowing studies in patients with lateral medullary infarctions were impaired upper esophageal sphincter opening, aspiration from pyriform sinuses’ residue caused by pharyngeal weakness, and multiple swallowing to clear boluses from the pharynx to the esophagus. In patients with medullary infarctions, the lesion levels and loci and their related clinical findings can be useful in predicting dysphagia and aspiration. Because severe dysphagia with serious complication is very common in patients with medullary infarctions, active diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are needed.