Oropharyngeal dysphagia and impaired motility of the upper gastrointestinal tract—Is there a clinical link in neurocritical care?

Paul Muhle, Karen Konert, Sonja Suntrup-Krueger, Inga Claus, Bendix Labeit, Mao Ogawa, Tobias Warnecke, Rainer Wirth, Rainer Dziewas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Patients in the neurological ICU are at risk of suffering from disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) can be caused by the underlying neurological disease and/or ICU treatment itself. The latter was also identified as a risk factor for gastrointestinal dysmotility. However, its association with OD and the impact of the neurological condition is unclear. Here, we investigated a possible link between OD and gastric residual volume (GRV) in patients in the neurological ICU. In this retrospective single-center study, patients with an episode of mechanical ventilation (MV) admitted to the neurological ICU due to an acute neurological disease or acute deterioration of a chronic neurological condition from 2011–2017 were included. The patients were submitted to an endoscopic swallowing evaluation within 72 h of the completion of MV. Their GRV was assessed daily. Patients with ≥1 d of GRV ≥500 mL were compared to all the other patients. Regression analysis was performed to identify the predictors of GRV ≥500 mL/d. With respect to GRV, the groups were compared depending on their FEES scores (0–3). A total of 976 patients were included in this study. A total of 35% demonstrated a GRV of ≥500 mL/d at least once. The significant predictors of relevant GRV were age, male gender, infratentorial or hemorrhagic stroke, prolonged MV and poor swallowing function. The patients with the poorest swallowing function presented a GRV of ≥500 mL/d significantly more often than the patients who scored the best. Conclusions: Our findings indicate an association between dysphagia severity and delayed gastric emptying in critically ill neurologic patients. This may partly be due to lesions in the swallowing and gastric network.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3879
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Oropharyngeal dysphagia and impaired motility of the upper gastrointestinal tract—Is there a clinical link in neurocritical care?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this