Dysphagia can lead to aspiration pneumonia, impacting the nutritional status and quality of life of the patient. The videofluoroscopy is highlighted for allowing both a real-time evaluation and the recording of the images for later review and analysis.
This study aimed to describe the characteristics of the population referred for videofluoroscopy and its value as an investigation method.
A descriptive and retrospective study was conducted. Exams were analyzed in lateral and anteroposterior views and reviewed using the frame-by-frame analysis software. The variables analyzed were an indication of the exam, previous diseases, dynamics of the oral and pharyngeal phases, and the degree of penetration/aspiration.
A total of 141 exams were analyzed. The study population had a median age of 66.24±17.78 years. For the indication of the exam, the investigation of dysphagia was highlighted (n=87, 61.7%) and for previous conditions, diverticulum (n=13, 9.2%), pharyngeal bar (n=12, 8.51%), and stroke and Parkinson’s disease (n=9, 6.4%) were highlighted. In the oral phase, 45 (31.9%) patients had a premature loss, and 108 (76.6%) patients had normal transit time. However, 100 (70.9%) had inadequate ejection. In the pharyngeal phase, 119 (84.4%) had efficient laryngeal displacement and 107 (75.9%) had an adequate opening of the upper esophageal sphincter. The beginning of the pharyngeal phase was classified as inadequate in 131 (92.9%) patients, and 80 (56.74%) had pharyngeal residue. Notably, 100 (70.9%) patients had grade 1 on the penetration/aspiration scale.
Despite the didactic division of phases, swallowing is complex and has transition stages. Videofluoroscopy is the only method for evaluating all phases of swallowing and its events.
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