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Effects of Carbonated Liquids on Oropharyngeal Swallowing Measures in People with Neurogenic Dysphagia

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Abstract

Aspiration is common in adults with neurogenic dysphagia and pharyngeal delay. This can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and aspiration pneumonia. Diet modifications aimed at reducing thin liquid aspiration are partially successful or unpalatable or both. Carbonated liquids show some potential in influencing swallowing behavior. However, there is a paucity of evidence to support this intervention. This study compares the effects of carbonated thin liquids (CTL) with that of noncarbonated thin liquids (NCTL) on oropharyngeal swallowing in adults with neurogenic dysphagia and examines the palatability of the CTL stimulus. Seventeen people with pharyngeal delay attended for videofluoroscopy (VFSS). Outcome measures were oral transit time (OTT), pharyngeal transit time (PTT), stage transition duration (STD), initiation of the pharyngeal swallow (IPS), penetration-aspiration scale (PENASP), and pharyngeal retention (PR). A modification of Quartermaster Hedonic Scale (AQHS) was employed to assess palatability of the CTL. CTL vs. NCTL significantly decreased penetration and aspiration on 5-ml (P = 0.028) and 10-ml (P = 0.037) swallows. CTL had no significant effect on OTT, PTT, IPS, and PR for any volume of bolus. Only one participant disliked the CTL stimulus. These findings support the hypothesis that oropharyngeal swallowing can be modulated in response to sensory stimuli. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank the 17 people who participated in this study, the speech-language pathologist who provided reliability data, and Dr. Nikolao Tsigili, Aristotle University, who aided in the statistical analysis of the data.

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Correspondence to Katerina Sdravou.

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Sdravou, K., Walshe, M. & Dagdilelis, L. Effects of Carbonated Liquids on Oropharyngeal Swallowing Measures in People with Neurogenic Dysphagia. Dysphagia 27, 240–250 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-011-9359-8

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