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The Dysphagia in Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire Correlates with Fiber-Optic Endoscopic Examination for Detecting Swallowing Deficits in MS


Multiple sclerosis (MS) refers to chronic inflammation of the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord. Assessing for the presence of dysphagia in subjects with MS represents a challenge for neurologists in clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to verify the relationship between DYMUS scores, a patient-reported scale, and objective symptoms using the Dysphagia Outcome Severity Score (DOSS), based on fiber-optic endoscopy. Data were collected in a multicenter study. Two hundred and fifteen MS patients were enrolled, irrespective of self-reported dysphagia. DOSS revealed dysphagia in 122 subjects (56.7%). Compared with non-dysphagic subjects, the presence of dysphagia was related to more severe disability, longer disease duration, and a progressive form of the disease. A DYMUS score of 0 strongly correlated with a DOSS of 6 (sensitivity 100%) while DYMUS score of > 2 correlated with a DOSS < 7 (specificity 82%) of the self-reported scale. The DYMUS questionnaire can be a useful clinical tool for red-flagging patients who should undergo objective testing and referral to a otorhinolaryngologist.

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The study was funded by Italian MS Society Research Foundation (Grant No. 2009/R/15).

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Correspondence to Maria Grazia Grasso MD.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest regards this Original Paper and no primary interest may be influenced by a secondary interest such as financial gain or personal rivalry. All authors made significant contributions to this study.

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Grasso, M.G., Gamberini, G., Patti, F. et al. The Dysphagia in Multiple Sclerosis Questionnaire Correlates with Fiber-Optic Endoscopic Examination for Detecting Swallowing Deficits in MS. Dysphagia 36, 192–197 (2021).

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  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Dysphagia
  • DYMUS questionnaire
  • Dysphagia outcome severity score
  • Fiberoptic endoscopy
  • Deglutition disorders