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Dysphagia. 1998 Winter;13(1):19-21.

Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of dysphagia to identify silent aspiration.

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Department of Surgery, Section of Otolaryngology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06504, USA.


The traditional bedside dysphagia evaluation has not been able to identify silent aspiration because the pharyngeal phase of swallowing could not be objectively assessed. To date, only videofluoroscopy has been used to detect silent aspiration. This investigation assessed the aspiration status of 400 consecutive, at risk subjects by fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Our study demonstrated that 175 of 400 (44%) subjects were without aspiration, 115 of 400 (29%) exhibited aspiration with a cough reflex, and 110 of 400 (28%) aspirated silently. No significant differences were observed for age or gender and aspiration status. The FEES, done at bedside, avoids irradiation exposure, is repeatable as often as necessary, uses regular food, can be videotaped for review, and is a patient-friendly method of identifying silent aspiration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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