Effortful Swallowing Training Combined with Electrical Stimulation in Post-Stroke Dysphagia: A Randomized Controlled Study.
ABSTRACT We tested the effect of effortful swallow combined with surface electrical stimulation used as a form of resistance training in post-stroke patients with dysphagia. Twenty post-stroke dysphagic patients were randomly divided into two groups: those who underwent effortful swallow with infrahyoid motor electrical stimulation (experimental group, n = 10) and effortful swallow with infrahyoid sensory electrical stimulation (control group, n = 10). In the experimental group, electrical stimulation was applied to the skin above the infrahyoid muscle with the current was adjusted until muscle contraction occurred and the hyoid bone was depressed. In the control group, the stimulation intensity was applied just above the sensory threshold. The patients in both groups were then asked to swallow effortfully in order to elevate their hyolaryngeal complex when the stimulation began. A total of 12 sessions of 20 min of training for 4 weeks were performed. Blinded biomechanical measurements of the extent of hyolaryngeal excursion, the maximal width of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) opening, and the penetration-aspiration scale before and after training were performed. In the experimental group, the maximal vertical displacement of the larynx was increased significantly after the intervention (p < 0.05). The maximal vertical displacement of the hyoid bone and the maximal width of the UES opening increased but the increase was not found to be significant (p = 0.066). There was no increase in the control group. Effortful swallow training combined with electrical stimulation increased the extent of laryngeal excursion. This intervention can be used as a new treatment method in post-stroke patients with dysphagia.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this investigation was to critically evaluate the efficacy of electrical stimulation (ES) in treating persons with dysphagia and aspiration. Nonconcurrent cohort study. The charts of 40 consecutive individuals undergoing ES and 40 consecutive persons undergoing traditional dysphagia therapy (TDT) were reviewed. Pre- and post-therapy treatment success was compared utilizing a previously described swallow severity scale. A linear regression analysis was employed to adjust for potential confounding variables. The swallow severity scale improved from 0.50 to 1.48 in the TDT group (P < 0.05) and from 0.28 to 3.23 in the ES group (P < 0.001). After adjusting for potential confounding factors, persons receiving ES did significantly better in regard to improvement in their swallowing function than persons receiving TDT (P = 0.003). The results of this nonconcurrent cohort study suggest that dysphagia therapy with transcutaneous electrical stimulation is superior to traditional dysphagia therapy alone in individuals in a long-term acute care facility.Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 11/2006; 135(5):754-7. · 1.73 Impact Factor
Article: Aspiration: cause and implications.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the overall prevalence of aspiration in dysphagic individuals referred for a modified barium swallow and the underlying anatomic and/or physiologic causes. A total of 166 patients were seen during a 1-month period at 5 participating institutions. Aspiration was detected in 51.2% of the patients. The most common causes were decreased laryngeal elevation and delayed triggering of the pharyngeal motor response. A history of aspiration pneumonia was significantly associated with the presence of aspiration on modified barium swallow study. The presence of a protective cough was present in only 53% of patients who aspirated, reinforcing the need for appropriate radiologic assessment in patients with suspected dysphagia.Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 05/1999; 120(4):474-8. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An estimated 15 million adults in the United States are affected by dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Severe dysphagia predisposes to medical complications such as aspiration pneumonia, bronchospasm, dehydration, malnutrition, and asphyxia. These can cause death or increased health care costs from increased severity of illness and prolonged length of stay. Existing modalities for treating dysphagia are generally ineffective, and at best it may take weeks to months to show improvement. One common conventional therapy, application of cold stimulus to the base of the anterior faucial arch, has been reported to be somewhat effective. We describe an alternative treatment consisting of transcutaneous electrical stimulation (ES) applied through electrodes placed on the neck. Compare the effectiveness of ES treatment to thermal-tactile stimulation (TS) treatment in patients with dysphagia caused by stroke and assess the safety of the technique. In this controlled study, stroke patients with swallowing disorder were alternately assigned to one of the two treatment groups (TS or ES). Entry criteria included a primary diagnosis of stroke and confirmation of swallowing disorder by modified barium swallow (MBS). TS consisted of touching the base of the anterior faucial arch with a metal probe chilled by immersion in ice. ES was administered with a modified hand-held battery-powered electrical stimulator connected to a pair of electrodes positioned on the neck. Daily treatments of TS or ES lasted 1 hour. Swallow function before and after the treatment regimen was scored from 0 (aspirates own saliva) to 6 (normal swallow) based on substances the patients could swallow during a modified barium swallow. Demographic data were compared with the test and Fisher exact test. Swallow scores were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The treatment groups were of similar age and gender (p > 0.27), co-morbid conditions (p = 0.0044), and initial swallow score (p = 0.74). Both treatment groups showed improvement in swallow score, but the final swallow scores were higher in the ES group (p > 0.0001). In addition, 98% of ES patients showed some improvement, whereas 27% of TS patients remained at initial swallow score and 11% got worse. These results are based on similar numbers of treatments (average of 5.5 for ES and 6.0 for TS, p = 0.36). ES appears to be a safe and effective treatment for dysphagia due to stroke and results in better swallow function than conventional TS treatment.Respiratory care 05/2001; 46(5):466-74. · 2.03 Impact Factor