The Incidence, Management, and Complications of Dysphagia in Patients with Medullary Strokes Admitted to a Rehabilitation Unit
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The objective of this study was to examine the frequency of dysphagia symptoms and related consequences in medullary stroke patients admitted to a stroke rehabilitation unit. A chart review of a cohort of 563 stroke patients admitted to a rehabilitation unit was used to identify patients with evidence of predominantly medullary lesions. The results of both initial and followup videofluoroscopic modified barium swallowing (VMBS) studies were also reviewed for evidence of aspiration and residuum in patients with dysphagia. Twenty of the 563 patients (3.6%) were diagnosed with a medullary stroke. Eleven of the 20 (55%) patients were identified clinically with dysphagia and nine had at least one (VMBS) study. All dysphagic patients demonstrated some degree of either aspiration or residuum on both initial and final swallowing studies and received some form of dietary modification. Comparisons between patients with and without dysphagia demonstrated significant differences with regard to length of hospital stay and the development of pneumonia (p <0.05). More than half of the patients with medullary strokes presented with clinical indications of dysphagia, were more likely to develop aspiration pneumonia, and experienced longer hospital stays. Aspiration pneumonia appeared to be an early complication of stroke and dietary modifications did not prevent its development.
KeywordsPneumonia Hospital Stay Barium Related Consequence Stroke Patient
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