Oropharyngeal Dysphagia and Aspiration Pneumonia Following Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Case Report

Yoichiro Aoyagi, Miho Ohashi, Reisuke Funahashi, Yohei Otaka, Eiichi Saitoh

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Cranial nerve involvement is a finding often observed in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 during the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To our knowledge, this is the first report of oropharyngeal dysphagia associated with COVID-19. A 70-year-old male developed dysphagia and consequent aspiration pneumonia during recovery from severe COVID-19. He had altered sense of taste and absent gag reflex. Videoendoscopy, videofluorography, and high-resolution manometry revealed impaired pharyngolaryngeal sensation, silent aspiration, and mesopharyngeal contractile dysfunction. These findings suggested that glossopharyngeal and vagal neuropathy might have elicited dysphagia following COVID-19. The current case emphasizes the importance of presuming neurologic involvement and concurrent dysphagia, and that subsequent aspiration pneumonia might be overlooked in severe respiratory infection during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-548
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-08-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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