Original research| Volume 100, ISSUE 3, P495-500.e1, March 2019

Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Adults With Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy and Cervical Dystonia: A Preliminary Study



      To investigate the characteristics of oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (DCP) and cervical dystonia (CD).


      Exploratory observational cross-sectional study.


      University hospital.


      Seventeen patients with DCP (8 men, 9 women; age, 45.7±6.3y) enrolled in a randomized controlled trial on the effects of botulinum toxin injection on CD.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Baseline clinical assessments and videofluoroscopic swallowing studies (VFSSs) were conducted. VFSS findings were evaluated using the videofluoroscopic dysphagia scale (VDS) and the penetration-aspiration scale (PAS). The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) scores were also assessed. Relationships between outcomes were evaluated using Spearman’s rank correlation.


      The clinical assessment revealed abnormalities in chewing (n=10, 58.8%), tongue movement (n=10, 58.8%), and laryngeal elevation (n=8, 47.1%). The most common abnormality on the VDS was inadequate mastication (n=13, 76.5%), followed by premature bolus loss, vallecular residue, and penetration/aspiration (all: n=10, 58.8%). A maximum PAS score of 8 was observed in 8 of 17 patients (47.1%). Total and pharyngeal VDS scores were significantly correlated with TWSTRS scores (ρ=0.543, P=.024 and ρ=0.539, P=.026, respectively); the VDS oral score did not correlate with the TWSTRS score (ρ=0.446, P=.073). There was no significant correlation between VDS score and GMFCS level (ρ=0.212, P=.414).


      This preliminary observational study presents the characteristics of oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults with DCP and CD. Pharyngeal stage difficulties were negatively correlated with severity of CD, but not with GMFCS level. Screening for dysphagia may be recommended in adults with DCP and severe CD.


      List of abbreviations:

      CD (cervical dystonia), CDS (clinical dysphagia scale), CI (confidence interval), DCP (dyskinetic cerebral palsy), GMFCS (Gross Motor Function Classification System), ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), PAS (penetration-aspiration scale), TWSTRS (Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale), VDS (videofluoroscopic dysphagia scale), VFSS (Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study)
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