Stephan Oelenberg

University of Münster, Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (16)55.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Treatment of post-stroke dysphagia is notoriously difficult with different neurostimulation strategies having been employed with a variable degree of success. Recently, electrical pharyngeal stimulation (EPS) has been shown to improve swallowing function and in particular decrease airway aspiration in acute stroke. We performed a randomized controlled trial to assess EPS effectiveness on swallowing function in severely dysphagic tracheotomized patients. Methods: All consecutive stroke patients successfully weaned from the respirator but with severe dysphagia precluding decannulation were screened for eligibility. Eligible patients were randomized to receive either EPS (N = 20) or sham stimulation (N = 10) over three consecutive days. Primary endpoint was ability to decannulate the patient. Swallowing function was assessed using fiberoptic endoscopy. Patients having received sham stimulation were offered EPS treatment during unblinded follow-up if required. Investigators were blinded to the patient's study group allocation. Results: Both groups were well matched for age, stroke severity, and lesion location. Decannulation after study intervention was possible in 75 % of patients of the treatment group and in 20 % of patients of the sham group (p < 0.01). Secondary outcome parameters did not differ. No adverse events occurred. Conclusion: In this pilot study, EPS enhanced remission of dysphagia as assessed with fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), thereby enabling decannulation in 75 % of patients.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Intensive Care Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Although early identification of patients at risk for dysphagia is crucial in acute stroke care, predicting whether a particular patient is likely to have swallowing problems based on the brain scan is difficult because a comprehensive model of swallowing control is missing. In this study whether stroke location is associated with dysphagia incidence, severity and the occurrence of penetration or aspiration was systematically evaluated relying on a voxel-based imaging analysis approach. Two hundred acute stroke patients were investigated applying fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing within 96 h from admission. Lesion masks were obtained from each patient's brain scan and registered to standard space. The percentage of lesioned volume of 137 atlas-based brain regions was determined in each case. Region-specific odds ratios were afterwards calculated with respect to presence of dysphagia, its severity and occurrence of penetration or aspiration. In all, 165 patients were diagnosed with dysphagia, 80 of whom had severe swallow impairment. For each investigated item there were significant differences of regional percentage infarction in distinct brain areas between affected patients and those who did not present with that specific dysfunction. In particular, right hemispheric lesions of the pre- and post-central gyri, opercular region, supramarginal gyrus and respective subcortical white matter tracts were related to dysphagia, with post-central lesions being especially associated with severe swallowing impairment. Distinct brain lesion locations are related to the incidence, severity and pattern of swallowing dysfunction. © 2015 EAN.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · European Journal of Neurology

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · International Journal of Stroke

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: : Decisions regarding tracheostomy tube removal after mechanical ventilation often depend on the physician's individual experience because evidence-based practice guidelines are still scarce, especially for critically ill neurologic patients. In these patients, the prevalence of aspiration is high and regarded as an important contributor to decannulation failure. The presence of severe neurological deficits may, however, give clinicians the subjective impression that a tracheostomy tube is still necessary although decannulation may actually be safe. It is therefore crucial to test swallowing function reliably prior to decannulation in this patient population. : Prospective observational study. : University hospital, neurological ICU. : One hundred tracheostomized patients with acute neurologic disease completely weaned from mechanical ventilation. : An endoscopic protocol evaluating readiness for decannulation and a conventional clinical swallowing examination were carried out by separate, experienced practitioners blinded to each other's decisions. Patient management always followed the decision made with endoscopy. : Practitioners' decannulation decisions (yes/no) reached with both assessments were compared. Decannulated patients were monitored throughout their stay for complications related to tube removal. Endoscopy was performed successfully in all subjects without any complications. Following the protocol, the tracheostomy tube was successfully removed in 54 patients, whereas according to the clinical swallowing examination, only 29 patients would have been decannulated at that point. Only one patient needed recannulation due to respiratory problems, resulting in a failure rate of 1.9%. : In neurologic patients, speech-language pathologists' impressions about the patient's state when clinically assessing indirect variables of swallowing function often lead to the unnecessary prolongation of cannulation time. Endoscopic evaluation has the advantage of objectively visualizing the patient's ability to manage secretions directly and allows for faster but, nonetheless, safe decannulation. The endoscopic protocol proposed here is a safe, efficient, and objective bedside tool to guide decannulation decisions.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Critical care medicine

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Klinische Neurophysiologie
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    ABSTRACT: Dysphagia is a frequent and early symptom in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) predisposing patients to aspiration pneumonia. Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) has emerged as a valuable apparative tool for objective evaluation of neurogenic dysphagia. This is the first study using FEES to investigate the nature of swallowing impairment in PSP. Eighteen consecutive PSP patients (mean age 69.7 +/- 9.0 years) were included. The salient findings of FEES in PSP patients were compared with those of 15 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). In 7 PSP patients, a standardized FEES protocol was performed to explore levodopa (L-dopa) responsiveness of dysphagia. Most frequent abnormalities detected by FEES were bolus leakage, delayed swallowing reflex, and residues in valleculae and piriformes. Aspiration events with at least one food consistency occurred in nearly 30% of PSP patients. Significant pharyngeal saliva pooling was observed in 4 PSP patients. We found no difference of salient endoscopic findings between PSP and PD patients. Endoscopic dysphagia severity in PSP correlated positively with disease duration, clinical disability, and cognitive impairment. No correlation was found with dysarthria severity. In early PSP patients, swallowing dysfunction was solely characterized by liquid leakage with the risk of predeglutitive aspiration during the oral phase of swallowing. Two PSP patients showed relevant improvement of swallowing function after L-dopa challenge. Chin tuck-maneuver, hard swallow, and modification of food consistency were identified as the most effective therapeutic interventions. In conclusion, FEES assessment can deliver important findings for the diagnosis and refined therapy of dysphagia in PSP patients.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Movement Disorders

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Aktuelle Neurologie
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    ABSTRACT: Dysphagia in X-linked bulbospinal muscular atrophy (Kennedy disease) has never been characterized in detail by objective swallowing studies. We assessed the nature of swallowing impairment in Kennedy disease by undertaking fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing examinations of 10 genetically confirmed patients with Kennedy disease who were scored according to an ordinal rating scale including 25 different items. The results were compared to an age-matched control group of 10 healthy volunteers. Swallowing dysfunction was found in 80% of patients with Kennedy disease. The main pattern of dysphagia was an incomplete food bolus clearance through the pharynx with residues left in the valleculae overflowing into the laryngeal vestibule after the swallow. Total duration of the pharyngeal swallow was significantly shorter in patients with Kennedy disease compared to the control group. These findings suggest that dysphagia in Kennedy disease is predominantly characterized by an impairment of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing resulting from reduced base-of-tongue movement and bilateral paresis of pharyngeal and laryngeal muscles.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Neuromuscular Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is a suitable method for dysphagia assessment after acute stroke. Recently, we developed the fiberoptic endoscopic dysphagia severity scale (FEDSS) for acute stroke patients, grading dysphagia into 6 severity codes (1 to 6; 1 being best). The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the FEDSS as a predictor of outcomes at 3 months and intermediate complications during acute treatment. A total of 153 consecutive first-ever acute stroke patients were enrolled. Dysphagia was classified according to the FEDSS, assessed within 24 h after admission. Intermediate outcomes were pneumonia and endotracheal intubation. Functional outcome was measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at 3 months. Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify whether the FEDSS was an independent predictor of outcome and intercurrent complications. Analyses were adjusted for sex, age and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIH-SS) on admission. The FEDSS was found to predict the mRS at 3 months as well as but independent from the NIH-SS. For each additional point on the FEDSS, the likelihood of dependency at 3 months (mRS > or = 3) raised by approximately 50%. Each increase of 1 point on the FEDSS conferred a more than 2-fold increased chance of developing pneumonia. The odds for the necessity of endotracheal intubation raised by a factor of nearly 2.5 with each additional point on the FEDSS. The FEDSS strongly and independently predicts outcome and intercurrent complications after acute stroke. Thus, a baseline FEES examination provides valuable prognostic information for the treatment of acute stroke patients.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Cerebrovascular Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Dysphagia is common after stroke. Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is a powerful tool for dysphagia assessment. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a previously established endoscopic examination protocol based on the identification of typical findings indicative of stroke - related dysphagia may be learned and adopted by clinicians so far inexperienced in this field. After receiving a structured lecture on this topic, participants were asked to rate video sequences of endoscopic swallowing examinations of acute stroke patients. The first part of the testing ("single findings-rating") comprised of 16 single sequences, the second part ("complete examination-rating") presented the key sequences of 8 complete examinations. Before the second part was started, results of the first were discussed. At the "single findings-rating" 88.8% of video-sequences were assessed correctly, while at the "complete examination-rating" the average performance had improved to 96%. Furthermore, no overlooking of relevant pathologies was noted in the second part of the testing. This study suggests that the presented endoscopic examination protocol is reliably interpreted by inexperienced clinicians after a short lecture and may therefore easily and successfully be adopted in dysphagia management of acute stroke care.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2009 · BMC Medical Education
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    ABSTRACT: Dysphagia is a common symptom in myasthenia gravis (MG). Clinical examination alone fails to detect and grade myasthenic dysphagia sufficiently. For a more precise examination of swallowing function in myasthenia gravis additional technical tools are necessary. To investigate the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with simultaneous Tensilon application (FEES-Tensilon Test) in myasthenia gravis. FEES-Tensilon Test was performed following a standardized protocol. Four severely affected patients with dysphagia as their leading symptom were examined. Dysphagia was characterized by five salient endoscopic findings: leakage, delayed swallowing reflex, penetration, aspiration and residues. If a normalisation or at least an improvement of swallowing function occurred shortly after Tensilon administration the FEES-Tensilon Test was rated as being positive. In three patients the FEES-Tensilon Test successfully detected MG-related dysphagia. In one patient with dysphagia caused by oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy the FEES-Tensilon Test was truly negative. Beside an early diagnosis of MG-related dysphagia, the FEES-Tensilon Test was useful in the differentiation between myasthenic and cholinergic crisis and in guiding treatment decisions. In all patients the FEES-Tensilon Test was superior to clinical evaluation of dysphagia. No severe side effect occurred while performing the FEES-Tensilon Test. The FEES-Tensilon Test is a suitable tool in the diagnosis and therapy of myasthenia gravis with pharyngeal muscles weakness.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2008 · Journal of Neurology
  • T. Warnecke · S. Oelenberg · R. Dziewas

    No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Klinische Neurophysiologie
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    ABSTRACT: Dysphagia is a common symptom in acute stroke. However, stroke-related dysphagia usually improves faster than other neurologic symptoms. Therefore, in addition to early diagnosis of dysphagia, closely meshed monitoring is necessary to guide appropriate protective and nutritional strategies. We propose serial fiber-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing as a valuable tool for this purpose. The clinical impact of serial fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing is exemplified by reporting on a patient with a complicated course of stroke-related dysphagia.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2006 · Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of National Stroke Association
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    ABSTRACT: Aspiration pneumonia is the most important acute complication of stroke related dysphagia. Tube feeding is usually recommended as an effective and safe way to supply nutrition in dysphagic stroke patients. To estimate the frequency of pneumonia in acute stroke patients fed by nasogastric tube, to determine risk factors for this complication, and to examine whether the occurrence of pneumonia is related to outcome. Over an 18 month period a prospective study was done on 100 consecutive patients with acute stroke who were given tube feeding because of dysphagia. Intermediate outcomes were pneumonia and artificial ventilation. Functional outcome was assessed at three months. Logistic regression and multivariate regression analyses were used, respectively, to identify variables significantly associated with the occurrence of pneumonia and those related to a poor outcome. Pneumonia was diagnosed in 44% of the tube fed patients. Most patients acquired pneumonia on the second or third day after stroke onset. Patients with pneumonia more often required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation than those without pneumonia. Independent predictors for the occurrence of pneumonia were a decreased level of consciousness and severe facial palsy. The NIH stroke scale score on admission was the only independent predictor of a poor outcome. Nasogastric tubes offer only limited protection against aspiration pneumonia in patients with dysphagia from acute stroke. Pneumonia occurs mainly in the first days of the illness and patients with decreased consciousness and a severe facial palsy are especially endangered.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry