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Ann Rehabil Med. 2017 Jun;41(3):426-433. doi: 10.5535/arm.2017.41.3.426. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Effects of Capping of the Tracheostomy Tube in Stroke Patients With Dysphagia.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Myongji Hospital, Seonam University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.



To investigate the impact of tracheostomy tube capping on swallowing physiology in stroke patients with dysphagia via videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).


This study was conducted as a prospective study that involved 30 stroke patients. Then, 4 mL semisolid swallowing was conducted with capping of the tracheostomy tube or without capping of the tracheostomy tube. The following five parameters were measured: laryngeal elevation, pharyngeal transit time, post-swallow pharyngeal remnant, upper esophageal sphincter width (UES), and penetration-aspiration scale (PAS) score.


On assessment of the differences in swallowing parameters during swallowing between 'with capping' and 'without capping' statuses, statistically significant differences were found in the post-swallow pharyngeal remnant (without capping, 48.19%±28.70%; with capping, 25.09%±19.23%; p<0.001), normalized residue ratio scale for the valleculae (without capping, 0.17±0.12; with capping, 0.09±0.12; p=0.013), normalized residue ratio scale for the piriform sinus (without capping, 0.16±0.12; with capping, 0.10±0.07; p=0.015), and UES width (without capping, 3.32±1.61 mm; with capping, 4.61±1.95 mm; p=0.003). However, there were no statistically significant differences in laryngeal elevation (x-axis without capping, 2.48±1.45 mm; with capping, 3.26±2.37 mm; y-axis without capping, 11.11±5.24 mm; with capping, 12.64±6.16 mm), pharyngeal transit time (without capping, 9.19± 10.14 s; with capping, 9.09±10.21 s), and PAS score (without capping, 4.94±2.83; with capping, 4.18±2.24).


Tracheostomy tube capping is a useful way to reduce post-swallow remnants and it can be considered an alternative method for alleviating dysphagia in stroke patients who can tolerate tracheostomy tube capping when post-swallow remnants are observed.


Deglutition disorders; Fluoroscopy; Stroke; Tracheostomy

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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