Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Treatment-Refractory Chronic Dysphagia in Tube-Fed Patients: A Prospective Case Series

Letizia Scarponi, Francesco Mozzanica, Valeria De Cristofaro, Daniela Ginocchio, Nicole Pizzorni, Alessandro Bottero, Antonio Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in tube-fed patients with severe and chronic dysphagia refractory to traditional swallowing therapy (TT). Patients and Methods: A total of 11 consecutive dysphagic patients with tube-dependent nutrition and who had not responded to 6 months of TT were enrolled. Each patient received NMES for 30 min and TT for 30 min, twice a day, 5 days per week for 4 weeks. In order to evaluate the swallowing impairment, each patient underwent a fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing immediately before the beginning of the treatment, after 2 weeks and after 4 weeks. Results: All enrolled patients managed to complete the swallowing treatment protocol for at least 2 weeks. After the 4-week treatment, 6 of 11 enrolled patients passed to a total oral diet with single or multiple consistencies despite specific food limitations or special preparation or compensation. Five patients, all affected by the most severe form of dysphagia, maintained tube-dependent nutrition. Conclusion: NMES as adjunctive treatment to TT may offer a new possibility for the management of tube-fed patients who are refractory to TT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-314
Number of pages7
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 5 2016

Keywords

  • Deglutition
  • Dysphagia
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation#
  • Swallowing
  • Swallowing difficulties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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    Scarponi, L., Mozzanica, F., De Cristofaro, V., Ginocchio, D., Pizzorni, N., Bottero, A., & Schindler, A. (Accepted/In press). Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Treatment-Refractory Chronic Dysphagia in Tube-Fed Patients: A Prospective Case Series. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 308-314. https://doi.org/10.1159/000443499