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      Association of Post-extubation Dysphagia With Tongue Weakness and Somatosensory Disturbance in Non-neurologic Critically Ill Patients

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          To prospectively assess the association between impoverished sensorimotor integration of the tongue and lips and post-extubation dysphagia (PED).


          This cross-sectional study included non-neurologic critically ill adult patients who required endotracheal intubation and underwent videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) between October and December 2016. Participants underwent evaluation for tongue and lip performance, and oral somatosensory function. Demographic and clinical data were retrieved from medical records.


          Nineteen patients without a definite cause of dysphagia were divided into the non-dysphagia (n=6) and the PED (n=13) groups based on VFSS findings. Patients with PED exhibited greater mean duration of intubation (11.85±3.72 days) and length of stay in the intensive care unit (LOS-ICU; 13.69±3.40 days) than those without PED (6.83±5.12 days and 9.50±5.96 days; p=0.02 and p=0.04, respectively). The PED group exhibited greater incidence of pneumonia, higher videofluoroscopy swallow study dysphagia scale score, higher oral transit time, and lower tongue power and endurance and lip strength than the non-dysphagia groups. The differences in two-point discrimination and sensations of light touch and taste among the two groups were insignificant. Patients intubated for more than 7 days exhibited lower maximal tongue power and tongue endurance than those intubated for less than a week.


          Duration of endotracheal intubation, LOS-ICU, and oromotor degradation were associated with PED development. Oromotor degradation was associated with the severity of dysphagia. Bedside oral performance evaluation might help identify patients who might experience post-extubation swallowing difficulty.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Sensory Input Pathways and Mechanisms in Swallowing: A Review

          Over the past 20 years, research on the physiology of swallowing has confirmed that the oropharyngeal swallowing process can be modulated, both volitionally and in response to different sensory stimuli. In this review we identify what is known regarding the sensory pathways and mechanisms that are now thought to influence swallowing motor control and evoke its response. By synthesizing the current state of research evidence and knowledge, we identify continuing gaps in our knowledge of these mechanisms and pose questions for future research.
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            Decreased tongue pressure is associated with sarcopenia and sarcopenic dysphagia in the elderly.

            The aim of this study was to clarify the association between tongue pressure and factors related to sarcopenia such as aging, activities of daily living, nutritional state, and dysphagia. One-hundred-and-four patients without a history of treatment of stroke and without a diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease (36 men and 68 women), with a mean age of 84.1 ± 5.6 years, hospitalized from May 2013 to June 2013 were included in this study. Maximum voluntary tongue pressure against the palate (MTP) was measured by a device consisting of a disposable oral balloon probe. Nutritional and anthropometric parameters such as serum albumin concentration, Mini-Nutritional Assessment short form (MNA-SF), body mass index, arm muscle area (AMA), and others and presence of sarcopenia and dysphagia were analyzed to evaluate their relationships. Correlation analysis and univariate or multivariate analysis were performed. Simple correlation analysis showed that MTP correlated with Barthel index (BI), MNA-SF, serum albumin concentration, body mass index, and AMA. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that sarcopenia, BI, MNA-SF, and age were the independent explanatory factors for decreased MTP, and the propensity score for dysphagia, including causes of primary or secondary sarcopenia, and the presence of sarcopenia were significantly associated with the presence of dysphagia. Decreased MTP and dysphagia were related to sarcopenia or the causes of sarcopenia in the studied population. Furthermore, the clinical condition of sarcopenic dysphagia may be partially interpreted as the presence of sarcopenia and causal factors for sarcopenia.
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              Sensory stimulation activates both motor and sensory components of the swallowing system.

              Volitional swallowing in humans involves the coordination of both brainstem and cerebral swallowing control regions. Peripheral sensory inputs are necessary for safe and efficient swallowing, and their importance to the patterned components of swallowing has been demonstrated. However, the role of sensory inputs to the cerebral system during volitional swallowing is less clear. We used four conditions applied during functional magnetic resonance imaging to differentiate between sensory, motor planning, and motor execution components for cerebral control of swallowing. Oral air pulse stimulation was used to examine the effect of sensory input, covert swallowing was used to engage motor planning for swallowing, and overt swallowing was used to activate the volitional swallowing system. Breath-holding was also included to determine whether its effects could account for the activation seen during overt swallowing. Oral air pulse stimulation, covert swallowing and overt swallowing all produced activation in the primary motor cortex, cingulate cortex, putamen and insula. Additional regions of the swallowing cerebral system that were activated by the oral air pulse stimulation condition included the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex and thalamus. Although air pulse stimulation was on the right side only, bilateral cerebral activation occurred. On the other hand, covert swallowing minimally activated sensory regions, but did activate the supplementary motor area and other motor regions. Breath-holding did not account for the activation during overt swallowing. The effectiveness of oral-sensory stimulation for engaging both sensory and motor components of the cerebral swallowing system demonstrates the importance of sensory input in cerebral swallowing control.

                Author and article information

                Ann Rehabil Med
                Ann Rehabil Med
                Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine
                Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine
                December 2017
                28 December 2017
                : 41
                : 6
                : 961-968
                Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea.
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Jung Hoi Koo. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, 38 Bangdong-gil, Gangneung 25440, Korea. Tel: +82-33-610-4951, Fax: +82-33-610-4960, mdjhkoo@
                Copyright © 2017 by Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article


                intratracheal intubation, fluoroscopy, deglutition disorders, critical illness, aspiration


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