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A Large Cohort Analysis of Epiglottic Phenotypes and Pharyngeal Residue

Kravietz, Adam; Crosby, Tyler; Yang, Jackie; Balou, Stamatela; Dion, Gregory R.; Logan, Ashley; Amin, Milan R.
Objective: To describe the phenotypic characteristics of the epiglottis at rest and their impact on vallecular residue. Methods: Videofluoroscopic studies (VFSS) were pooled from 2 Laryngology practices, and Image J was used to measure epiglottic anatomic features at rest. Studies were rated by the MBSImp and presence of vallecular residue following swallow of thin and puree boluses. A conditional inference tree analysis was performed to isolate which epiglottic parameters were risk factors for presence of vallecular reside followed by logistic regression. Results: The majority of patients had a normal shaped epiglottis, followed by omega shape. The mean angle of the epiglottis from the hyoid was approximately 90°. Only abnormal epiglottic movement was associated with increased risk of residue for thin boluses (OR 35.09, CI 10.93-158.66, P <.001). However, in those with normal epiglottic movement, age >70 years old was associated with increased risk of residue (OR 3.98, CI 1.73-9.23, P =.001). For puree boluses, a normal or omega shaped epiglottis was associated with residue (OR 5.19, CI 2.41-11.51, P <.001), and this relationship was further modulated by increased distance of the epiglottic tip from the posterior pharyngeal wall. No other anatomic features of the resting epiglottis were associated with residue. Comorbidities potentially affecting swallow were infrequent in the cohort and were not associated with residue. Conclusion: Abnormal epiglottic movement is associated with aspiration, and in this study we find that abnormal epiglottic movement increases the risk of vallecular residue and that older age is a risk factor for residue. The resting properties of the epiglottis do not appear to be associated with abnormal epiglottic movement or residue.
ISSN: 0003-4894
CID: 5630122

Radiographic Magnification on Videofluoroscopy: An Important Variable to Consider for Scaled Analyses of Swallowing

Molfenter, Sonja M; Jones-Rastelli, Rebecca Brynn; Balou, Matina
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Traditionally, kinematic measures on videofluoroscopy require the use of an external scalar (such as a penny) to transform pixels to absolute distances. Videofluoroscopy is subject to image magnification based on the distance of the feature of interest to the X-ray source. However, the impact of the position/location of the external scalar on swallowing measures is unknown. Our goal was to systematically investigate the accuracy of various common external scalar locations in lateral and anterior-posterior (A-P) view. METHOD/METHODS:U.S. pennies were taped to a styrofoam head in three positions (on the left and right lateral neck and in midline submentally). Locations were measured to ensure equal left and right, as well as midline, placement. A metal screwdriver (6 mm in diameter) was inserted into the premanufactured hole that is centrally located at the bottom of the styrofoam head. The head was centered on a medical tray and placed in the middle of a Siemens Alpha C-arm Fluoroscope field. ImageJ was used to measure penny length in pixels (three locations) in both lateral and A-P views. Penny length was known (19.05 mm), and, therefore, used to derive screwdriver size (for each location) for comparison to the actual screwdriver size. RESULTS:All scalars overestimated the screwdriver size ranging from 6.55 to 7.87 mm, representing a 9%-31% inflation. Scalars closer to the X-ray source had the largest magnification. CONCLUSIONS:Our results confirm that image magnification of external scalars is a significant source of variability that is currently unaccounted for in the swallowing literature. Recommendations for future research design/measurement methods are provided.
PMID: 37889234
ISSN: 1558-9102
CID: 5607422

A scoping review of the methods used to capture dysphagia after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: the need for a paradigm shift

Molfenter, Sonja M; Amin, Milan R; Balou, Matina; Herzberg, Erica G; Frempong-Boadu, Anthony
OBJECTIVE:Dysphagia is the most commonly reported complication of annterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery. However, the incidence of dysphagia post-ACDF varies widely-partly attributable to differing outcome measures used to capture dysphagia. Our objective was to conduct a scoping review of the literature to quantify which dysphagia outcome measures have been employed post-ACDF and examine trends by study design, year, and location. METHODS:After removing duplicates, 2396 abstracts were screened for inclusion. A total of 480 studies were eligible for full-text review. After applying exclusion criteria, data was extracted from 280 studies. We extracted the dysphagia outcome measure(s), study design (prospective vs retrospective), year, and location (country). Approximately 10% of studies were repeated for intra-rater agreement. RESULTS:In total, 317 dysphagia outcome measures were reported in 280 studies (primarily retrospective-63%). The largest proportion of outcome measures were categorized as "unvalidated patient-reported outcome measures" (46%), largely driven by use of the popular Bazaz scale. The next most common categories were "insufficient detail" and "validated patient-reported outcome measures" (both 16%) followed by "chart review/database" (13%) and instrumental assessment (7%). Studies examining dysphagia post-ACDF steadily increased over the years and the use of validated measures increased in the past 10 years. CONCLUSIONS:This scoping review of the literature highlights that nearly half of the ACDF dysphagia literature relies on unvalidated patient-reported outcome measures. The current understanding of the mechanism, timeline, and presentation of dysphagia post-ACDF are likely limited due to the metrics that are most commonly reported in the literature.
PMID: 36625955
ISSN: 1432-0932
CID: 5410402

Alterations in Swallowing Six Weeks After Primary Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

Jones-Rastelli, R. Brynn; Amin, Milan R.; Balou, Matina; Herzberg, Erica G.; Molfenter, Sonja
This aim of this study is to characterize the nature and pathophysiology of dysphagia after ACDF surgery by precisely and comprehensively capturing within-subject changes on videofluoroscopy between preoperative and postoperative time points. 21 adults undergoing planned primary ACDF procedures were prospectively recruited and enrolled. Participants underwent standardized preoperative and six-week postoperative videofluoroscopic swallow studies. Videos were blindly rated using the Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) and analysis of total pharyngeal residue (%C2-42), swallowing timing, kinematics, and anatomic change was completed. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to explore the relationships between possible predictor variables and functional outcomes of interest that changed across timepoints. There was no change in PAS scores across timepoints. Total pharyngeal residue (%C2-C42) was increased postoperatively (p < 0.001). Our statistical model revealed significant main effects for timepoint (p = 0.002), maximum pharyngeal constriction area (MPCAN) (p < 0.001), and maximum thickness of posterior pharyngeal (PPWTMAX) (p = 0.004) on the expression of total pharyngeal residue. There were significant two-way interactions for timepoint and MPCAN (p = 0.028), timepoint and PPWTMAX (p = 0.005), and MPCAN and PPWTMAX (p = 0.010). Unsurprisingly, we found a significant three-way interaction between these three predictors (p = 0.027). Our findings suggest that in planned ACDF procedures without known complications, swallowing efficiency is more likely to be impaired than airway protection six weeks after surgery. The manifestation of impaired swallowing efficiency at this timepoint appears to be driven by a complex relationship between reduced pharyngeal constriction and increased prevertebral edema.
ISSN: 0179-051x
CID: 5631112

An intensive swallowing exercise protocol for improving swallowing physiology in older adults with radiographically confirmed dysphagia

Balou, Matina; Herzberg, Erica G; Kamelhar, David; Molfenter, Sonja M
Purpose/UNASSIGNED:The aim of this study was to investigate improvements in swallowing function and physiology in a series of healthy older adults with radiographically confirmed dysphagia, following completion of an exercise-based swallowing intervention. Patients and methods/UNASSIGNED:Nine otherwise healthy older adults (six females, mean age =75.3, SD =5.3) had confirmed impairments in swallowing safety and/or efficiency on a modified barium swallow study. Each participant completed an 8-week swallowing treatment protocol including effortful swallows, Mendelsohn maneuvers, tongue-hold swallows, supraglottic swallows, Shaker exercises and effortful pitch glides. Treatment sessions were conducted once per week with additional daily home practice. Penetration-Aspiration Scale and the Modified Barium Swallowing Impairment Profile (MBSImP) were scored in a blind and randomized fashion to examine changes to swallowing function and physiology from baseline to post-treatment. Results/UNASSIGNED:There were significant improvements in swallowing physiology as represented by improved oral and pharyngeal composite scores of the MBSImP. Specific components to demonstrate statistical improvement included initiation of the pharyngeal swallow, laryngeal elevation and pharyngeal residue. There was a nonsignificant reduction in median PAS scores. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Swallowing physiology can be improved using this standardized high-intensity exercise protocol in healthy adults with evidence of dysphagia. Future research is needed to examine the individual potential of each exercise in isolation and to determine ideal dose and frequency. Studies on various etiological groups are warranted.
PMID: 30804667
ISSN: 1178-1998
CID: 3698302

Analysis of pharyngeal edema post-chemoradiation for head and neck cancer: Impact on swallow function

Turcotte, Maria C; Herzberg, Erica G; Balou, Matina; Molfenter, Sonja M
Objectives/UNASSIGNED:Edema is a frequent clinical observation following chemoradiation treatment (CRT) of oral/oropharyngeal cancer and is thought to contribute to post-CRT swallowing impairment. Our aims were to reliably quantify pharyngeal edema pre- and post-CRT from videofluoroscopic (VF) swallowing studies and to explore the relationship between edema and swallowing impairment. Swallowing impairment was captured using patient-reported swallowing outcomes (EAT-10) and with VF confirmation of impairment (DIGEST). Methods/UNASSIGNED:40 patients (24 M, age 38-76) with oral/oropharyngeal cancer received radiotherapy (70 Gy, 7 weeks) and 3 weekly doses of cisplatin. VF and EAT-10 were completed pre- and 1-month post-CRT. Edema was captured by measuring posterior pharyngeal wall (PPW) thickness, vallecular space, and pharyngeal area (PA) on a single post-swallow rest frame. Wilcoxon sign rank tests and paired t-tests evaluated within-subject changes in impairment and edema respectively. A linear mixed effect regression model explored the influence of time, patient-reported outcomes, and functional impairment on measures of edema. Results/UNASSIGNED:Swallowing function (EAT-10 and DIGEST) was significantly worse post-CRT. PPW thickness (but not vallecular space and pharyngeal area) was significantly worse post-CRT. PPW thickness was only significantly influenced by time (pre- vs. post-CRT) but not by measures of swallow function. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Our findings establish the use of PPW thickness as a reliable measure of acute edema in post-CRT treatment. In this small, retrospective sample, edema was not significantly correlated with either patient-reported or measured swallow function. Prospective longitudinal work, examining the relationship between objective measures of edema, patient perception of impairment, and swallow function and biomechanics is warranted. Level of Evidence/UNASSIGNED:4.
PMID: 30410991
ISSN: 0023-852x
CID: 3413282

Respiratory care in familial dysautonomia: Systematic review and expert consensus recommendations

Kazachkov, Mikhail; Palma, Jose-Alberto; Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Lucy; Bar-Aluma, Bat-El; Spalink, Christy L; Barnes, Erin P; Amoroso, Nancy E; Balou, Stamatela M; Bess, Shay; Chopra, Arun; Condos, Rany; Efrati, Ori; Fitzgerald, Kathryn; Fridman, David; Goldenberg, Ronald M; Goldhaber, Ayelet; Kaufman, David A; Kothare, Sanjeev V; Levine, Jeremiah; Levy, Joseph; Lubinsky, Anthony S; Maayan, Channa; Moy, Libia C; Rivera, Pedro J; Rodriguez, Alcibiades J; Sokol, Gil; Sloane, Mark F; Tan, Tina; Kaufmann, Horacio
BACKGROUND:Familial dysautonomia (Riley-Day syndrome, hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy type-III) is a rare genetic disease caused by impaired development of sensory and afferent autonomic nerves. As a consequence, patients develop neurogenic dysphagia with frequent aspiration, chronic lung disease, and chemoreflex failure leading to severe sleep disordered breathing. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders in familial dysautonomia. METHODS:We performed a systematic review to summarize the evidence related to our questions. When evidence was not sufficient, we used data from the New York University Familial Dysautonomia Patient Registry, a database containing ongoing prospective comprehensive clinical data from 670 cases. The evidence was summarized and discussed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts. Evidence-based and expert recommendations were then formulated, written, and graded using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. RESULTS:Recommendations were formulated for or against specific diagnostic tests and clinical interventions. Diagnostic tests reviewed included radiological evaluation, dysphagia evaluation, gastroesophageal evaluation, bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage, pulmonary function tests, laryngoscopy and polysomnography. Clinical interventions and therapies reviewed included prevention and management of aspiration, airway mucus clearance and chest physical therapy, viral respiratory infections, precautions during high altitude or air-flight travel, non-invasive ventilation during sleep, antibiotic therapy, steroid therapy, oxygen therapy, gastrostomy tube placement, Nissen fundoplication surgery, scoliosis surgery, tracheostomy and lung lobectomy. CONCLUSIONS:Expert recommendations for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease in patients with familial dysautonomia are provided. Frequent reassessment and updating will be needed.
PMID: 30053970
ISSN: 1532-3064
CID: 3216612

Poster 71 New Frontiers: Inpatient Comprehensive Rehabilitation After Full Face Transplantation: A Case Report

McKay, Tracy Espiritu; Balou, Matina; Kao, Daniel J; Ho, Derek J; Cohen, Jeffrey; Rodriguez, Eduardo D
PMID: 27672839
ISSN: 1934-1563
CID: 2262332

Swallowing functions across the lifespan

Chapter by: Balou, Matina
in: Communication and aging: Creative approaches to improving the quality of life by Carozza, Linda S [Eds]
San Diego, CA, US: Plural Publishing, 2016
pp. 157-174
ISBN: 1-59756-612-8
CID: 2160692

Manometric measures of head rotation and chin tuck in healthy participants

Balou, Matina; McCullough, Gary H; Aduli, Farshad; Brown, Daniel; Stack, Brendan C Jr; Snoddy, Peggy; Guidry, Tiffany
The primary aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of partial versus complete head rotation and chin tuck on pharyngeal swallowing pressures and durations in the pharynx and UES of normal, healthy adults. Ten individuals (3 men and 7 women; age range 54-76 years) served as participants. Solid-state intraluminal manometry was performed with the participants in the upright position while performing swallows with the head in the normal position, head rotated (partial and complete), chin tucked, and chin down. A cervical range of motion (CROM) inclinometer was used to accurately measure the degree of head rotation and chin tuck. The CROM inclinometer has not been used before so this is the first study to our knowledge to quantify degree of head rotation and chin tuck. Manometric data derived from these healthy participants indicate both partial and complete head rotations can increase the duration of UES relaxation and decrease UES residual pressure. Chin tuck may be effective in increasing durations in the upper pharynx. Partial chin tuck (chin down) decreases UES residual pressure. Complete head rotation and chin tuck provide more overall benefit than partial maneuvers. However, for patients with limited head and neck mobility, partial posture changes impact the pharynx in similar ways and may provide clinically meaningful benefits. Additional research on patient populations is warranted.
PMID: 23846323
ISSN: 0179-051x
CID: 806622