Resolving dysphagia – can we distinguish mild dysphagia from no dysphagia?

Many patients with dysphagia following neurological events can and do experience a resolution of their swallowing difficulties, sometimes without any intervention. However, it is challenging for clinicians to distinguish mild dysphagia from no dysphagia. The question of where to draw...

What characterises dysphagia in unilateral vocal fold impairment?

The closure of the vocal folds during swallowing is known to contribute to airway protection along with epiglottic inversion and closure of the false vocal folds. It is therefore plausible to expect that unilateral vocal fold impairment without complete closure...

Dysphagia in people with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer

Human papilloma virus (HPV) associated oropharyngeal cancers are becoming much more prevalent and, in some geographic areas, have overtaken tobacco as the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer. HPV-associated cancers are also reported to have better prognosis in general, and research...

How common are swallowing problems in a general adult population?

This paper reports on the largest cross-continent study to date, looking at the prevalence of swallowing problems reported by adults in the community aged 18-65 years old. The authors used the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) distributed via an online survey...

Oesophageal atresia and trachea-oesophageal fistula: a perspective on dysphagia management from Turkey

Children born with oesophageal atresia with or without trachea-oesophageal fistula usually receive early surgical repair to create tension-free anastomosis that facilitates oral feeding. However, many children are at risk of problems related to subsequent dysphagia. This includes respiratory, nutritional, motility...

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...

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...

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....

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