Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2006 , Vol 52 , Num 2

Dysphagia in Stroke

Barın Selçuk 1
1 Kocaeli Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Kocaeli, Türkiye

Dysphagia is a common complication of stroke and its reported  frequencies are widely discrepant, ranging between 29-81%. Dysphagia after stroke increases the risk of death, mainly as a consequence of pneumonia which is implicated in one third of stroke death. Early detection of dysphagia in patients with stroke reduces not only these complications but also increases functional outcome and reduces length of stay. Cerebral or brain stem stroke can impair swallowing physiology. Cerebral lesions can interrupt voluntary control of mastication and bolus transport. Brain stem stroke can affect sensation of mouth, timing in trigger of the pharyngeal swallow, laryngeal elevation, glottic closure and cricopharyngeal relaxation. The presence of dysphagia is identified using different types of diagnostic methods. The most common and the gold standard test assessing swallowing function is videofluoroscopy. The sequential activity of swallowing muscles can also be demonstrated by some electrophysiological methods. As a result, dysphagia is a severe symptoms complex that can be life threatening in a considerable number of stroke patients. So, it is necessary to evaluate the dysphagic problems objectively and apply effective management strategies for dysphagic patients.

Keywords : Dysphagia, aspiration, stroke, rehabilitation, prognosis