Delayed Swallowing Reflex is Overlooked in Swallowing Screening Among Acute Stroke Patients

Chiho Takeda, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida, Masahiro Nakamori, Naohisa Hosomi, Toshikazu Nagasaki, Mineka Yoshikawa, Jun Kayashita, Shin Masuda, Hirofumi Maruyama, Kazuhiro Tsuga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Dysphagia in the acute phase of stroke contributes significantly to poor outcomes and is associated with the development of aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition. Therefore, an accurate evaluation of swallowing is necessary before initiating oral food intake. The modified water swallow test (MWST) and the repetitive saliva swallow test (RSST) are commonly used as bedside screening methods for swallowing dysfunction, but it is unclear whether other factors contribute to dysphagia and consequent aspiration. The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics that might be overlooked in screening tests. Methods: Participants were prospectively selected from patients hospitalized for stroke at the Suiseikai Kajikawa Hospital between August 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. Inclusion criteria were conscious and stable medical condition, and patients who were diagnosed with dementia were excluded. A videofluoroscopic (VF) swallowing study was carried out on all patients who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and who passed both the MWST and the RSST. Results: Aspiration was observed in 16 of 172 patients (9.3%) when swallowing 3 ml of water. These aspirated patients showed significantly delayed swallowing reflex on VF. Conclusions: Swallowing evaluation using a combination of the MWST and the RSST is reasonably effective. However, patients who show a delayed swallowing reflex might be overlooked by this screening procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105303
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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