Morphological findings in dynamic swallowing studies of symptomatic patients
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The aim of this study was to assess the role of videofluoroscopy in the detection of structural abnormalities of the pharynx and esophagus in patients with different symptoms of impaired deglutition. Dynamic radiographic recording of deglutition was performed in 3193 consecutive patients (1578 men, 1615 women; mean age 54 years) suffering from dysphagia, suspicion of aspiration, globus sensation, and non-cardiac chest pain. We assessed different structural lesions from the oral cavity to the esophagus and classified them into eight categories. Their frequency and association with the different clinical symptoms were evaluated. Videofluoroscopy revealed 1040 structural abnormalities in 833 patients (26%) including mass lesions from the oral cavity to hyoid/larynx (n=66), pharyngeal diverticula (n=181), pharyngeal masses (n=78), other pharyngeal narrowings (n=71), webs (n=98), masses (n=39), and other narrowings (n=73) of the upper esophageal sphincter, esophageal diverticula (n=80), esophageal webs, rings and strictures (n=194), and intrinsic and extrinsic esophageal lesions (n=160). There was a considerable variance of findings for different symptoms. In a large proportion of symptomatic patients videofluoroscopy detects morphological abnormalities along pharynx and esophagus often combined with functional disorders. This fact underlines the role of videofluoroscopy as a diagnostic test for function as well as morphology.
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