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Ann Geriatr Med Res > Volume 13(4); 2009 > Article
Journal of the Korean Geriatrics Society 2009;13(4):195-202.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4235/jkgs.2009.13.4.195    Published online December 31, 2009.
Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study in Elderly Patients Admitted to a Geriatric Hospital and a Long-Term Care Facility
Sang Jun Kim, Tai Ryoon Han
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. guitar1@snu.ac.kr
노인병원과 장기요양원에 입원한 노인환자들에서의 투시연하검사
No study has been done to detect the aspiration using the videofluoroscopic swallowing study in the elderly patients. Elderly patients admitted to hospitals or long-term care facilities may intake the food orally without any evaluation of swallowing function and may be exposed to aspiration risk, which can be eliminated by some diet modification based on the fluoroscopic findings. METHODS: Sixty-three elderly patients who had an oral-feeding status were recruited in this study. They swallowed diverse food textures twice in the following order; liquid, Yoplait yogurt, pudding, soft-bland diet, and a regular diet. Swallowing parameters were checked as subglottic aspiration, supraglottic penetration, delayed pharyngeal reflex, and vallecular and pyriform sinus residues. RESULTS: Only 2 patients showed both aspiration signs and the subglottic aspiration in the fluoroscopic study. Six patients showed the subglottic aspiration in the fluoroscopic study without any clinical sign. Seven patients who complained of aspiration signs did not show the subglottic aspiration, but all of them presented the supraglottic penetration. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that no covariate was correlated with the subglottic aspiration whereas delayed pharyngeal reflex during liquid (p<0.001) or Yoplait (p=0.010) swallowing were correlated with aspiration plus penetration. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that a fluoroscopic swallowing study is important for the dysphagia diagnosis in elderly patients because of no significant correlation between the aspiration signs assessed clinically and the subglottic aspiration detected by the fluoroscopic swallowing study. Diet modifications, such as, liquid thickening will be necessary when patients demonstrate the evidence of subglottic aspiration during swallowing.
Key Words: Deglutition, Fluoroscopy, Geriatrics
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