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J Hosp Med. 2015 Apr;10(4):256-65. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2313. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

Bedside diagnosis of dysphagia: a systematic review.

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1
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Abstract

Dysphagia is associated with aspiration, pneumonia, and malnutrition, but remains challenging to identify at the bedside. A variety of exam protocols and maneuvers are commonly used, but the efficacy of these maneuvers is highly variable. We conducted a comprehensive search of 7 databases, including MEDLINE, Embase, and Scopus, from each database's earliest inception through June 9, 2014. Studies reporting diagnostic performance of a bedside examination maneuver compared to a reference gold standard (videofluoroscopic swallow study or flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing) were included for analysis. From each study, data were abstracted based on the type of diagnostic method and reference standard study population and inclusion/exclusion characteristics, design, and prediction of aspiration. The search strategy identified 38 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Overall, most bedside examinations lacked sufficient sensitivity to be used for screening purposes across all patient populations examined. Individual studies found dysphonia assessments, abnormal pharyngeal sensation assessments, dual axis accelerometry, and 1 description of water swallow testing to be sensitive tools, but none were reported as consistently sensitive. A preponderance of identified studies was in poststroke adults, limiting the generalizability of results. No bedside screening protocol has been shown to provide adequate predictive value for presence of aspiration. Several individual exam maneuvers demonstrated reasonable sensitivity, but reproducibility and consistency of these protocols was not established. More research is needed to design an optimal protocol for dysphagia detection.

PMID:
25581840
PMCID:
PMC4607509
DOI:
10.1002/jhm.2313
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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