To examine the prevalence of dysphagia in patients presenting with dysphonia and diagnosed with non-neoplastic vocal fold pathology.
A total of 45 patients presenting with dysphonia and diagnosed with non-neoplastic vocal fold pathology and a control group matched according to age and gender were included. Patients with recent history of respiratory tract infection, laryngeal surgery or manipulation, neurologic disorders, head and neck tumors, or history of chemotherapy/radiotherapy were excluded. The primary outcome measure for dysphagia was Eating Assessment Tool-10. Patients with a score above three were considered to have dysphagia.
The 45 patients were stratified as 18 males and 27 females, with an overall mean age of 48.23 ± 14.65 years. The most common vocal fold pathology was Reinke edema (28.8%), followed by laryngitis (24.4%), and vocal fold nodules (17.7%) and polyps (13.33%). Out of 45 patients with dysphonia, 37.7% had dysphagia and out of 25 controls, 8% had dysphagia as evidenced by an Eating Assessment Tool-10 score of above three. This prevalence is higher than normative values reported in the literature (16%–22%).
The high prevalence of dysphagia in patients with non-neoplastic vocal fold pathology alludes to the pathogenic role of laryngeal behavior in the development of obstructive swallowing symptoms. The potential benefit of voice and swallowing therapy in the treatment of these patients should be considered.
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Published online: June 05, 2018
Accepted: May 16, 2018
There is no conflict of interest or financial support in relation to this paper.
© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.