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J Neurol. 2012 Jan;259(1):93-9. doi: 10.1007/s00415-011-6129-3. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Dysphagia in patients with acute striatocapsular hemorrhage.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Str.33, 48149 Muenster, Germany.


Dysphagia is found in up to 80% of acute stroke patients. To date most studies have focused on ischemic stroke only. Little is known about the incidence and pattern of dysphagia in hemorrhagic stroke. Here we describe the characteristics of dysphagia in patients with striatocapsular hemorrhage. Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) was carried out in 30 patients with acute striatocapsular hemorrhage. Dysphagia was classified according to the six-point Fiberoptic Endoscopic Dysphagia Severity Scale (FEDSS) within 72 h after admission. Lesion volume, hemisphere and occurrence of ventricular rupture were determined from computer tomography scans. Data on initial NIH-SS, clinical symptoms, need for endotracheal intubation, diagnosis of pneumonia and feeding status on discharge were recorded. Swallowing impairment was observed in 76.7% of patients (n = 23). Mean FEDSS score was 3.1 ± 1.5. Main findings were penetration or aspiration of liquids as well as leakage to valleculae and piriform sinus. Incidence of pneumonia was 30.0% (n = 9). Age, NIH-SS and hematoma volume did not correlate with dysphagia severity. None of the clinical characteristics was predictive for dysphagia. On discharge after 12.9 ± 5.3 days, a two-point improvement on the FEDSS was seen in seven patients, (30.4%) and five patients (21.7%) had gained at least one point. In striatocapsular hemorrhage, dysphagia is a common and so far underrecognized symptom. FEES results indicate predominant impairment of oral motor control. Swallowing impairment is not related to other clinical deficits, stroke severity or lesion characteristics. Thus, detailed dysphagia assessment is indicated in all cases.

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