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Dysphagia in the Elderly

Smukalla, Scott M; Dimitrova, Irina; Feintuch, Jeremy M; Khan, Abraham
OPINION STATEMENT: Dysphagia is a common problem in the elderly population with an especially high prevalence in hospitalized and institutionalized patients. If inadequately addressed, dysphagia leads to significant morbidity and contributes to decreased quality of life. Dysphagia can be categorized as emanating from either an oropharyngeal or esophageal process. A disproportionate number of elderly patients suffer from oropharyngeal dysphagia with a multifactorial etiology. Historically, treatment options have been limited and included mostly supportive care with a focus on dietary modification, food avoidance, and swallow rehabilitation. Nascent technologies such as the functional luminal imaging probe (FLIP) and advances in esophageal manometry are improving our understanding of the pathophysiology of oropharyngeal dysphagia. Recent developments in the treatment of specific causes of oropharyngeal dysphagia, including endoscopic balloon dilations for upper esophageal sphincter (UES) dysfunction, show promise and are expected to enhance with further research. Esophageal dysphagia is also common in the elderly and more commonly due to an identifiable cause. The full breadth of treatment options is frequently unavailable to elderly patients due to comorbidities and overall functional status. However, the increasing availability of less invasive solutions to specific esophageal pathologies has augmented the number of treatment options available to this population, where an individualized approach to patient care is paramount. This review focuses on the evaluation and management of dysphagia in the elderly and delineates how standard and novel therapeutics are contributing to more nuanced and personalized management.
PMID: 28756531
ISSN: 1092-8472
CID: 2655452

Frequency and burden of gastrointestinal symptoms in familial dysautonomia

Ramprasad, Chethan; Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Lucy; Palma, Jose-Alberto; Levy, Joseph; Zhang, Yian; Spalink, Christy L; Khan, Abraham; Smukalla, Scott; Kaufmann, Horacio; Chen, Lea Ann
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Familial dysautonomia (FD) is a rare hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN-3) that is clinically characterized by impaired pain and temperature perception and abnormal autonomic function. Patients with FD have gastrointestinal dysmotility and report a range of gastrointestinal symptoms that have yet to be systematically evaluated. The aim of this study was to establish the frequency and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with FD. METHODS:The validated National Institutes of Health Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) survey questionnaire, together with additional FD-specific questions, were distributed to 202 living patients with genetically confirmed FD who had been identified from the New York University FD Patient Registry or, when relevant, to their respective caretaker. As a comparison group, we used a general US adult population for whom PROMIS scores were available (N = 71,812). RESULTS:Of the 202 questionnaires distributed, 77 (38%) were returned, of which 53% were completed by the patient. Median age of the respondents was 25 years, and 44% were male. Gastrostomy tube was the sole nutrition route for 25% of the patients, while 53% were reliant on the gastrostomy tube only for liquid intake. The prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms was significantly higher in each of the eight domains of PROMIS in patients with FD than in the controls. Gastrointestinal symptoms as measured by raw scores on the PROMIS scale were significantly less severe in the FD patient group than in the control population in all domains with the exception of the abdominal pain domain. The surveys completed by caregivers reported the same burden of symptoms as those completed only by patients. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Gastrointestinal symptoms affect nearly all patients with FD. Gastrointestinal symptoms are more prevalent in adult patients with FD than in the average US adult population but are less severe in the former.
PMID: 33025279
ISSN: 1619-1560
CID: 4631552

Functional esophgeal chest pain, functional heartburn and reflux hypersensitivity

Chapter by: Fass, Ofer; Nyabanga, Custon; Smukalla, Scott; Khan, Abraham
in: Clinical and basic neurogastroenterology and motility by Rao, Satish S; Yeh, Yeong; Ghoshal, Uday C (Eds)
London : Academic Press, c2020
pp. 247-262
ISBN: 0128130377
CID: 4306222

Colonic irrigation as a non-oral, same-day bowel preparation for colonoscopy: Efficacy, safety, and patient satisfaction [Meeting Abstract]

Smukalla, S M; Liang, P S; Khan, A; Hudesman, D P; Rosenberg, J; Esterow, J; Lucak, B; Pochapin, M B
Introduction: Colonoscopy is the most commonly used test for colorectal cancer screening in the US, but patients often find the oral bowel preparation difficult, inconvenient, or intolerable. Suboptimal bowel prep occurs in 20-24% of colonoscopies, leading to inadequate examinations that necessitate additional procedures. Colonic irrigation is an FDA-approved method of colon cleansing using a warm water lavage, but few studies have evaluated it as preparation for colonoscopy. The purpose of this study is to evaluate colonic irrigation as an alternative to oral bowel prep in patients undergoing screening/ surveillance colonoscopy. Methods: We conducted a single-center, single-arm feasibility study using the Hydro-San Plus system. Patients followed a low-residue diet and took 2 doses of polyethylene glycol the day before the procedure. Colonoscopy was performed immediately following colonic irrigation. Boston Bowel Prep Scale (BBPS) and adverse events were recorded. A telephone questionnaire was administered within 7 days of the procedure. Results: Of the 21 patients enrolled, 48% had at a medical risk factor for poor prep (Table 1). Eighteen patients completed irrigation, of whom 12 (67%) had an adequate bowel prep, defined as BBPS>1 in all segments (Table 2). Two irrigations were not completed due to minor adverse events (discomfort from speculum insertion and rectal abrasion) and 1 was aborted for mechanical repair. There were no major adverse events. Patients with no risk factors for poor prep were 4 times more likely to have an adequate prep, although this was not statistically significant (P=0.14). Half of the patients felt that irrigation was easy (47%) and comfortable (53%), while most felt it was tolerable (71%) and convenient (82%). Among participants who had previous a colonoscopy with oral prep, the majority felt that irrigation was easier (85%), more tolerable (77%), and more convenient (85%) than oral prep. 82% of respondents said they would ask for irrigation again and only 12% said they would refuse if it were offered. Conclusion: Colonic irrigation is a safe and moderately efficacious alternative to oral bowel prep for screening/surveillance colonoscopy. A more potent oral pre-prep, especially for patients with risk factors for poor prep, may improve efficacy. Importantly, patient satisfaction with colonic irrigation appears to be higher than with oral bowel prep. (Table Presented)
EMBASE:620839252
ISSN: 1572-0241
CID: 2968232

Receptive Anal Intercourse in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Clinical Review

Martin, Tracey; Smukalla, Scott M; Kane, Sunanda; Hudesman, David P; Greene, Richard; Malter, Lisa B
Receptive anal intercourse and its association with sexually transmitted infections and human papillomavirus-related anal dysplasia has been well studied in various at-risk groups including men who have sex with men. However, the relationship between receptive anal intercourse and its potential complications in patients with inflammatory bowel disease is not fully understood. This narrative review discusses sexually transmitted infections and anal dysplasia in patients with inflammatory bowel disease who engage in receptive anal intercourse and the lack of evidence-based data to guide clinical practice. It addresses the psychosocial effects of stigmatization in these patients and its consequences in the clinical encounter. We review the need for sufficient data on infection, cancer prevention, and precoital and postcoital hygienic practices with hopes that future studies establish standardized guidelines and recommendations.
PMID: 28708804
ISSN: 1536-4844
CID: 2630822

Utilizing HDL levels to improve detection of celiac disease in patients with iron deficiency anemia [Letter]

Abu Daya, Hussein; Lebwohl, Benjamin; Smukalla, Scott; Lewis, Suzanne K; Green, Peter H
PMID: 24797006
ISSN: 1572-0241
CID: 2672712

How often do hematologists consider celiac disease in iron-deficiency anemia? Results of a national survey

Smukalla, Scott; Lebwohl, Benjamin; Mears, J Gregory; Leslie, Lori A; Green, Peter H
BACKGROUND: Celiac disease (CD) is underdiagnosed, and iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common presentation of CD. No guidelines exist in the literature for screening for CD among those with IDA in the United States. We surveyed hematologists to deter- mine rates of CD screening in patients with IDA. METHODS: A survey was e-mailed to members of the American Society of Hematology. RESULTS: There were 385 complete responses from 4551 e-mails. Most respondents were practicing clinicians (74%), clinical researchers (10%), or laboratory researchers (6%). Specialists in benign hematology accounted for 45% of respondents, oncologists accounted for 33%, and specialists in malignant hematology accounted for 22%. The most common practice types were university-affiliated hospital (43%), private clinic (29%), community hospital (12%), and Veterans Affairs or military hospital (9%). Only 8.6% believed all patients with IDA should be screened for CD. Respondents who had completed their fellowship within 5 years were more likely than more experienced clinicians to believe that all patients with IDA should receive CD screening (OR, 2.8; CI; 1.1-7.5; P=.04). Having a higher volume of IDA patients per month also increased the likelihood of testing (P=.01). In multivariate analysis, specialists in malignant hematology (OR, 3.2; CI, 1.1-9.5; P=.04) and oncologists (OR, 3.5; CI, 1.3-9.5; P=.02) were more likely than specialists in benign hematology to screen all patients for CD, as were those who saw predominately pediatric patients with IDA vs adult patients (OR, 16.9; CI, 3.0-97.0; P=.002). CONCLUSIONS: Practicing hematologists infrequently screen for CD in IDA. Physicians who have recently finished their fellowship and those who see a high volume of patients with IDA are more likely to screen for CD.
PMID: 24892255
ISSN: 1543-0790
CID: 2672702

Prior endoscopy in patients with newly diagnosed celiac disease: a missed opportunity?

Lebwohl, Benjamin; Bhagat, Govind; Markoff, Sarah; Lewis, Suzanne K; Smukalla, Scott; Neugut, Alfred I; Green, Peter H R
BACKGROUND: Celiac disease (CD) is under-diagnosed in the United States, and factors related to the performance of endoscopy may be contributory. AIM: To identify newly diagnosed patients with CD who had undergone a prior esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and examine factors contributing to the missed diagnosis. METHODS: We identified all patients age >/= 18 years whose diagnosis of CD was made by endoscopy with biopsy at our institution (n = 316), and searched the medical record for a prior EGD. We compared those patients with a prior EGD to those with without a prior EGD with regard to age at diagnosis and gender, and enumerated the indications for EGD. RESULTS: Of the 316 patients diagnosed by EGD with biopsy at our center, 17 (5 %) had previously undergone EGD. During the prior non-diagnostic EGD, a duodenal biopsy was not performed in 59 % of the patients, and >/= 4 specimens (the recommended number) were submitted in only 29 % of the patients. On the diagnostic EGD, >/= 4 specimens were submitted in 94 %. The mean age of diagnosis of those with missed/incident CD was 53.1 years, slightly older than those diagnosed with CD on their first EGD (46.8 years, p = 0.11). Both groups were predominantly female (missed/incident CD: 65 vs. 66 %, p = 0.94). CONCLUSIONS: Among 17 CD patients who had previously undergone a non-diagnostic EGD, non-performance of duodenal biopsy during the prior EGD was the dominant feature. Routine performance of duodenal biopsy during EGD for the indications of dyspepsia and reflux may improve CD diagnosis rates.
PMCID:3661753
PMID: 23361572
ISSN: 1573-2568
CID: 2672722