All videoswallows are not performed equally…

Videofluoroscopy is one of the main instrumental tools used to assess swallowing biomechanics and physiology. In the UK, it is mainly within the remit of speech and language therapists (SLT) to perform videoswallows but there is considerable variability in both...

Association between dysphagia and sarcopenia: implications for assessment of older people

The onset of swallowing difficulties with progressive age is reported to occur in 13-35% of the elderly population. Sarcopenia is characterised by a decrease in muscle mass, strength and function. Sarcopenic dysphagia is a relatively new term. Its prevalence is...

Cuff up or cuff down; to occlude or not to occlude? What effect does tracheostomy tube modification have on swallowing outcomes?

Dysphagia is commonly seen in patients with tracheostomy. The current global pandemic has increased interest in the impact of a tracheostomy on swallowing outcomes. This systematic review is therefore a timely addition to the literature and a useful read for...

Predicting swallowing outcomes post radiotherapy for head and neck cancer

A videofluroscopic swallow study (VFSS), also known as modified barium swallow (MBS) offers a dynamic view of swallow biomechanics and associated swallowing physiology. The authors of this paper investigated whether quantitative timing and displacement measures of key structures involved in...

Dysphagia following intubation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dysphagia is a known sequela of mechanical ventilation and intubation. About a third of patients discharged from hospital after acute respiratory distress syndrome present with dysphagia. The authors of this review have considered the implications for patients intubated due to...

Telepractice for the delivery of paediatric feeding services

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, telepractice is being heralded as the safest service delivery mode for the majority of outpatient consultations. Patients are reviewed by their healthcare specialist through video consultations, thus avoiding the need for patients to leave their...

Early injection laryngoplasty for iatrogenic vocal fold movement impairment – a safe and effective treatment

This Ed’s Choice examines the role of early injection laryngoplasty on swallowing dysfunction and is one of a few studies available in the literature. Research on early injection laryngoplasty has been predominately focused on voice and reducing the risk of...

Increasing tongue strength to reduce dysphagia: what is the potential benefit of a device driven exercise?

Weakness in tongue muscle strength and laryngeal elevation is known to have an adverse impact on swallowing function. Various swallowing exercises are often recommended to improve function of these important structures with the goal of preventing aspiration and improving swallow...

Modified barium swallow studies: what is the radiation risk?

A modified barium swallow study (MBSS), also called a videofluoroscopy swallowing study uses ionising radiation to assist the clinician in visualising swallowing biomechanics from the oral cavity to the oesophagus. This procedure is currently one of the best methods used...

Sarcopenia and dysphagia in older community-dwelling adults

The prevalence of dysphagia in community-dwelling older adults is reported to be around 15%. Outside of common neurological causes such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, recent studies have suggested that sarcopenia may be an independent risk factor for the...

Gastro-oesophageal reflux and cricopharyngeal dysfunction – how do they link?

It has been hypothesised that cricopharyngeal muscle hypertrophy develops as a response to chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. The cricopharyngeus muscle is an important component and contributor to the upper oesophageal sphincter that creates a barrier between the pharynx and oesophagus....

Standardising videofluoroscopy assessment for bottle-fed babies

Swallowing problems in babies may occur for many reasons including complex medical problems, premature birth, and low birth-weight. Dysphagia causes several further morbidities such as poor nutrition and compromised respiration, often raising distress for both infants and their caregivers. Early...

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