Background: Electrical stimulation therapy is effective for patients with dysphagia. However, because of the pain, strong stimulation cannot be applied. Although magnetic stimulation induces less pain, there are no reports on magnetic stimulation being synchronised with a swallowing reflex. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether it is possible to induce magnetic stimulation during a voluntary swallowing using electromyography (EMG)-triggered peripheral magnetic stimulation and to evaluate its effect on healthy individuals. Methods: A total of 20 healthy adults in seated position were instructed to swallow saliva and 10 ml of barium under videofluoroscopy. For concomitant use of magnetic stimulation, a magnetic stimulus for suprahyoid muscles at 30 Hz frequency was applied for 2 s when the EMG level in the sternohyoid muscle exceeded the threshold. During the voluntary swallowing, the movement of the hyoid bone and opening width of the upper oesophageal sphincter (UES) were measured. Furthermore, pressure topography was evaluated in 6 subjects using high-resolution manometry. Results: The magnetic stimulation significantly extended the movement time of the hyoid bone (p < 0.001). During liquid deglutition, significant increases were observed in the anterior maximum movement distance of the hyoid bone (p < 0.05), opening width of the UES (p < 0.001) and anterior movement distance of the hyoid bone at the maximum UES opening (p < 0.01). In the pressure topography, the maximum pressure immediately after UES closure significantly decreased with magnetic stimulation (p < 0.05). Conclusion: EMG-triggered peripheral magnetic stimulation made it possible to apply magnetic stimulation during a voluntary swallowing.
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