The Exeter Dysphagia Assessment Technique (EDAT) uses noninvasive equipment to record, simultaneously, “feeding respiratory patterns,” the time drink entered the mouth, and associated swallow sounds during feeding. The easily portable equipment enabled patients' swallowing ability to be tested, at the bedside if necessary, using a small amount of fruit-flavored drink. The results appear in chart form.
EDAT findings from groups of normal subjects aged 2–90 years were compared with those from patients with dysphagia of neurologic origin and normal subjects under experimental feeding conditions. The results revealed maturation of the feeding respiratory pattern in the teenage years and remarkable consistency thereafter. Differences in the recordings between the normal and abnormal subjects were sufficiently marked to allow the findings to be used in the diagnosis of other patients with dysphagia of doubtful neurologic cause. Interpretation of the charts and recorded timings of the oral and pharyngeal stages of swallowing permitted a more accurate identification of sensory nerve, motor nerve, and functional involvement causing dysphagia of neurologic origin and may be used as a guide to the origin of the sensory deficit.
Key wordsDeglutition Respiration Feeding respiratory patterns
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