Dysphagia 2002 Winter;17(1):69-74
Abraham SS, Yun PT.
Department of Otolaryngology, Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10467, USA.
This study investigated the swallowing physiology of 13 patients [age 27-69 years (mean = 45 years)] with multiple sclerosis (MS) who had Kurtzke Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores ranging from 2 to 9 (mean = 6) and who complained of difficulty swallowing.
Videofluoroscopic recordings of the patients' calibrated liquid and paste bolus swallows were analyzed and compared with published normative data.
Results showed that swallowing physiology was disordered in the 13 MS patients with severity level ranging from mild to severe.
Eleven patients had primary pharyngeal dysphagia.
1 patient had primary laryngeal dysphagia, and 1 patient had primary oral dysphagia.
Laryngeal dysmotility, the predominant anterior pharyngeal segment dysfunction, was evidenced in all 13 patients with MS.
They displayed significantly longer-than-normal pharyngeal delay times, shorter-than-normal time intervals from onset of laryngeal excursion to return to rest and longer-than-normal time intervals between airway closure at the arytenoid to epiglottic base and upper esophageal sphincter opening.
Pharyngeal constrictor dysmotility, the predominant posterior pharyngeal segment dysfunction, was observed in 11 of the 13 MS patients.
A significant relationship was found between the severity of the MS patients' functional swallowing impairment and posterior pharyngeal segment dysfunction.
Material penetrated the supraglottic airway of 9 patients with 1 patient aspirating.
A significant relationship was observed between supraglottic penetration and brainstem dysfunction.
No significant relationship was found between severity of dysphagia and neurological disability as measured by EDSS scores or neurological impairment as measured by Functional System (FS) scores.
Disturbed neuromotor sequencing of laryngeal events and a progression in neuromotor weakening of the pharyngeal constrictors were suggested from the findings.