Assessment of swallowing and referral to speech and language therapists in acute stroke.
The best clinical assessment of swallowing following acute stroke, in order to decide whether to refer a patient to a speech and language therapist (SLT), is uncertain. Independently of the managing clinical team, we prospectively investigated 115 patients (51 male) with acute stroke, mean age 75 years (range 24-94) within 72 h of admission, using a questionnaire, structured examination and timed water swallowing test. Outcome variables included referral to and intervention by a speech and language therapist (SLT), dietary modification, respiratory complications and death. Of those patients in whom an SLT recommended intervention, 97% were detected by an abnormal quantitative water swallowing test; specificity was 69%. An SLT was very unlikely to recommend any intervention if the test was normal. Inability to perform a water test and/or abnormality of the test was associated with significantly increased relative risks of death, chest infection and dietary modification. A timed water swallowing test can be a useful test of swallowing and may be used to screen patients for referral to a speech and language therapist after acute stroke. (+info)
Tachyarrhythmias triggered by swallowing and belching.
Three cases with supraventricular tachyarrhythmias related to oesophageal transit are reported. A 61 year old man had episodes of atrial tachycardia on each swallow of food but not liquid; this has been reported only rarely. A 55 year old man had atrial fibrillation initiated by drinking ice cold beverages; this has not been described previously although atrial tachycardia triggered by drinking ice cold beverages has been described once. A 68 year old man had supraventricular tachycardia initiated by belching; this has not been described previously. These cases illustrate the diversity of atrial tachyarrhythmias that can be precipitated by oesophageal stimulation and suggest that what is regarded as a very rare phenomenon may be found more commonly when sought. (+info)
Multifunctional laryngeal motoneurons: an intracellular study in the cat.
We studied the patterns of membrane potential changes in laryngeal motoneurons (LMs) during vocalization, coughing, swallowing, sneezing, and the aspiration reflex in decerebrate paralyzed cats. LMs, identified by antidromic activation from the recurrent laryngeal nerve, were expiratory (ELMs) or inspiratory (ILMs) cells that depolarized during their respective phases in eupnea. During vocalization, most ELMs depolarized and most ILMs hyperpolarized. Some ILMs depolarized slightly during vocalization. During coughing, ELMs depolarized abruptly at the transition from the inspiratory to the expiratory phase. In one-third of ELMs, this depolarization persisted throughout the abdominal burst. In the remainder ("type A"), it was interrupted by a transient repolarization. ILMs exhibited a membrane potential trajectory opposite to that of type A ELMs during coughing. During swallowing, the membrane potential of ELMs decreased transiently at the onset of the hypoglossal burst and then depolarized strongly during the burst. ILMs hyperpolarized sharply at the onset of the burst and depolarized as hypoglossal activity ceased. During sneezing, ELMs and ILMs exhibited membrane potential changes similar to those of type A ELMs and ILMs during coughing. During the aspiration reflex, ELMs and ILMs exhibited bell-shaped hyperpolarization and depolarization trajectories, respectively. We conclude that central drives to LMs, consisting of complex combinations of excitation and inhibition, vary during vocalization and upper airway defensive reflexes. This study provides data for analysis of the neuronal networks that produce these various behaviors and analysis of network reorganization caused by changes in dynamic connections between the respiratory and nonrespiratory neuronal networks. (+info)
Swallowing function after stroke: prognosis and prognostic factors at 6 months.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Swallowing dysfunction (dysphagia) is common and disabling after acute stroke, but its impact on long-term prognosis for potential complications and the recovery from swallowing dysfunction remain uncertain. We aimed to prospectively study the prognosis of swallowing function over the first 6 months after acute stroke and to identify the important independent clinical and videofluoroscopic prognostic factors at baseline that are associated with an increased risk of swallowing dysfunction and complications. METHODS: We prospectively assembled an inception cohort of 128 hospital-referred patients with acute first stroke. We assessed swallowing function clinically and videofluoroscopically, within a median of 3 and 10 days, respectively, of stroke onset, using standardized methods and diagnostic criteria. All patients were followed up prospectively for 6 months for the occurrence of death, recurrent stroke, chest infection, recovery of swallowing function, and return to normal diet. RESULTS: At presentation, a swallowing abnormality was detected clinically in 65 patients (51%; 95% CI, 42% to 60%) and videofluoroscopically in 82 patients (64%; 95% CI, 55% to 72%). During the subsequent 6 months, 26 patients (20%; 95% CI, 14% to 28%) suffered a chest infection. At 6 months after stroke, 97 of the 112 survivors (87%; 95% CI, 79% to 92%) had returned to their prestroke diet. Clinical evidence of a swallowing abnormality was present in 56 patients (50%; 95% CI, 40% to 60%). Videofluoroscopy was performed at 6 months in 67 patients who had a swallowing abnormality at baseline; it showed penetration of the false cords in 34 patients and aspiration in another 17. The single independent baseline predictor of chest infection during the 6-month follow-up period was a delayed or absent swallowing reflex (detected by videofluoroscopy). The single independent predictor of failure to return to normal diet was delayed oral transit (detected by videofluoroscopy). Independent predictors of the combined outcome event of swallowing impairment, chest infection, or aspiration at 6 months were videofluoroscopic evidence of delayed oral transit and penetration of contrast into the laryngeal vestibule, age >70 years, and male sex. CONCLUSIONS: Swallowing function should be assessed in all acute stroke patients because swallowing dysfunction is common, it persists in many patients, and complications frequently arise. The assessment of swallowing function should be both clinical and videofluoroscopic. The clinical and videofluoroscopic features at presentation that are important predictors of subsequent swallowing abnormalities and complications are videofluoroscopic evidence of delayed oral transit, a delayed or absent swallow reflex, and penetration. These findings require validation in other studies. (+info)
Identification of the cerebral loci processing human swallowing with H2(15)O PET activation.
Lesional and electrophysiological data implicate a role for the cerebral cortex in the initiation and modulation of human swallowing, and yet its functional neuroanatomy remains undefined. We therefore conducted a functional study of the cerebral loci processing human volitional swallowing with 15O-labeled water positron emission tomography (PET) activation imaging. Regional cerebral activation was investigated in 8 healthy right handed male volunteers with a randomized 12-scan paradigm of rest and water swallows (5 ml/bolus, continuous infusion) at increasing frequencies of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 Hz, which were visually cued and monitored with submental electromyogram (EMG). Group and individual linear covariate analyses were performed with SPM96. In five of eight subjects, the cortical motor representation of pharynx was subsequently mapped with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in a posthoc manner to substantiate findings of hemispheric differences in sensorimotor cortex activation seen with PET. During swallowing, group PET analysis identified increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) (P < 0.001) within bilateral caudolateral sensorimotor cortex [Brodmann's area (BA) 3, 4, and 6], right anterior insula (BA 16), right orbitofrontal and temporopolar cortex (BA 11 and 38), left mesial premotor cortex (BA 6 and 24), left temporopolar cortex and amygdala (BA 38 and 34), left superiomedial cerebellum, and dorsal brain stem. Decreased rCBF (P < 0.001) was also observed within bilateral posterior parietal cortex (BA 7), right anterior occipital cortex (BA 19), left superior frontal cortex (BA 8), right prefrontal cortex (BA 9), and bilateral superiomedial temporal cortex (BA 41 and 42). Individual PET analysis revealed asymmetric representation within sensorimotor cortex in six of eight subjects, four lateralizing to right hemisphere and two to left hemisphere. TMS mapping in the five subjects identified condordant interhemisphere asymmetries in the motor representation for pharynx, consistent with the PET findings. We conclude that volitional swallowing recruits multiple cerebral regions, in particular sensorimotor cortex, insula, temporopolar cortex, cerebellum, and brain stem, the sensorimotor cortex displaying strong degrees of interhemispheric asymmetry, further substantiated with TMS. Such findings may help explain the variable nature of swallowing disorders after stroke and other focal lesions to the cerebral cortex. (+info)
Electromyographic activity from human laryngeal, pharyngeal, and submental muscles during swallowing.
The durations and temporal relationships of electromyographic activity from the submental complex, superior pharyngeal constrictor, cricopharyngeus, thyroarytenoid, and interarytenoid muscles were examined during swallowing of saliva and of 5- and 10-ml water boluses. Bipolar, hooked-wire electrodes were inserted into all muscles except for the submental complex, which was studied with bipolar surface electrodes. Eight healthy, normal, subjects produced five swallows of each of three bolus volumes for a total of 120 swallows. The total duration of electromyographic activity during the pharyngeal stage of the swallow did not alter with bolus condition; however, specific muscles did show a volume-dependent change in electromyograph duration and time of firing. Submental muscle activity was longest for saliva swallows. The interarytenoid muscle showed a significant difference in duration between the saliva and 10-ml water bolus. Finally, the interval between the onset of laryngeal muscle activity (thyroarytenoid, interarytenoid) and of pharyngeal muscle firing patterns (superior pharyngeal constrictor onset, cricopharyngeus offset) decreased as bolus volume increased. The pattern of muscle activity associated with the swallow showed a high level of intrasubject agreement; the presence of somewhat different patterns among subjects indicated a degree of population variance. (+info)
Continuous haemodynamic monitoring in an unusual case of swallow induced syncope.
A 69 year old man is described with a 12 year history of intermittent syncope associated with ingesting solid food, mainly after having fasted. He was taking enalapril, propranolol, bendrofluazide (bendroflumethiazide), omeprazole, finasteride, and aspirin. Detailed investigations, including gastrointestinal evaluation, measurement of various gut hormones, and autonomic testing, indicated no abnormality. A liquid meal, performed before fasting, failed to elicit an episode. However, a solid meal after an overnight fast provoked near-syncope. Continuous non-invasive haemodynamic monitoring (with a Portapres II) indicated a short lived rise in blood pressure and heart rate, followed by severe hypotension, a fall in stroke volume and cardiac output, and then bradycardia. This favoured an initial increase in sympathetic activity, followed by vasodepression due to sympathetic withdrawal or activation of humoral vasodilatatory mechanisms, with bradycardia secondary to impaired cardiac filling. Withdrawal of enalapril abolished the episodes. The unusual nature of this case, in which haemodynamic recordings continuously were made during and after swallow syncope, induced soon after food ingestion, is discussed. (+info)
Cheek and tongue pressures in the molar areas and the atmospheric pressure in the palatal vault in young adults.
The pressures acting on the maxillary and mandibular posterior teeth from the tongue and cheeks were measured in 24 adults aged 22-29 years. In addition, the pressure in the palatal vault was recorded. The pressure at two maxillary (buccal and lingual) and two mandibular (buccal and lingual) measuring points, and in the palatal vault was recorded simultaneously. Repeated recordings of the pressures at rest, and during chewing and swallowing were made. The pressures at rest were of similar magnitude (about 2 g/cm2) at the buccal and lingual sides of the mandibular posterior teeth. The median resting pressure at the maxillary posterior teeth was 2.7 g/cm2 on the buccal side and 1.0 g/cm2 on the lingual side. The difference in the maxilla was significant, but not in the mandible. It was concluded that the equilibrium of tooth position is maintained by the pressure from the cheeks and the tongue. During chewing and swallowing the pressures on the lingual side of the teeth were greater than those on the buccal side. At rest about half of the subjects had a negative pressure at the palatal vault, but no correlations between the resting pressure at the palatal vault and the resting pressures on the teeth were found. (+info)