Stroke 2013 July-17


Prediction of outcome in neurogenic oropharyngeal dysphagia within 72 hours of acute stroke.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2012 Oct;21(7):569-76.

Ickenstein GW, Höhlig C, Prosiegel M, Koch H, Dziewas R, Bodechtel U, Müller R, Reichmann H, Riecker A.

Department of Neurology & Stroke Unit, HELIOS General Hospital Aue, Dresden University of Technology, Aue, Germany.


BACKGROUND: Stroke is the most frequent cause of neurogenic oropharyngeal dysphagia (NOD). In the acute phase of stroke, the frequency of NOD is greater than 50% and, half of this patient population return to good swallowing within 14 days while the other half develop chronic dysphagia. Because dysphagia leads to aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, and in-hospital mortality, it is important to pay attention to swallowing problems. The question arises if a prediction of severe chronic dysphagia is possible within the first 72 hours of acute stroke.

METHODS: On admission to the stroke unit, all stroke patients were screened for swallowing problems by the nursing staff within 2 hours. Patients showing signs of aspiration were included in the study (n = 114) and were given a clinical swallowing examination (CSE) by the swallowing/speech therapist within 24 hours and a swallowing endoscopy within 72 hours by the physician. The primary outcome of the study was the functional communication measure (FCM) of swallowing (score 1-3, tube feeding dependency) on day 90.

RESULTS: The grading system with the FCM swallowing and the penetration-aspiration scale (PAS) in the first 72 hours was tested in a multivariate analysis for its predictive value for tube feeding-dependency on day 90. For the FCM level 1 to 3 (P < .0022) and PAS level 5 to 8 (P < .00001), the area under the curve (AUC) was 72.8% and showed an odds ratio of 11.8 (P < .00001; 95% confidence interval 0.036-0.096), achieving for the patient a 12 times less chance of being orally fed on day 90 and therefore still being tube feeding-dependent.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that signs of aspiration in the first 72 hours of acute stroke can predict severe swallowing problems on day 90. Consequently, patients should be tested on admission to a stroke unit and evaluated with established dysphagia scales to prevent aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition. A dysphagia program can lead to better communication within the stroke unit team to initiate the appropriate diagnostics and swallowing therapy as soon as possible. Copyright © 2012 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21683618


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