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Gerontology. 2003 May-Jun;49(3):173-6.

Acute stroke predisposes to oral gram-negative bacilli -- a cause of aspiration pneumonia?

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  • 1Department of Dental Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess any change in the oral flora in the mouths of stroke patients during the acute and rehabilitation phases and to determine whether this is related to episodes of aspiration pneumonia and clinical outcome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This observational study was carried out in hospital wards in a University teaching hospital. The subjects were patients immediately post-stroke and during the rehabilitation period, acute admissions and a group of healthy volunteers. An assessment of dentition and swallow in the presence or absence of oral aerobic gram-negative bacilli (AGNB) was correlated.

RESULTS:

Of the acute stroke patients 52% had an unsafe swallow. AGNB carriage was documented in 34% of the acute stroke group. Of the 11 patients who died 55% had AGNB, 73% had an unsafe swallow and 36% had a combination of both.

CONCLUSION:

AGNB is a common finding in acute stroke patients. It is not a consequence of age or acute hospitalisation and is associated with an unsafe swallow and a higher mortality.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

PMID:
12679608
DOI:
69171
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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