Oropharyngeal dysphagia in patients with multiple sclerosis: do the disease classification scales reflect dysphagia severity?

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Ferre Fernandes, Alessandro Murano
Duprat, Andre de Campos
Eckley, Claudia Alessandra
Silva, Leonardo da
Ferreira, Roberta Busch [UNIFESP]
Tilbery, Charles Peter
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Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that involves swallowing disorders. Many studies have shown an association between neurological and swallowing performance, but results have been conflicting.Objective: To identify the frequency of dysphagia in patients with multiple sclerosis and neurological indicators that can represent the performance of swallowing.Method: in this study (cross-sectional) 120 Multiple Sclerosis patients underwent Functional Assessment of Swallowing by flexible nasal-pharyngo-laryngoscopy and the results were compared with the scores of the rating scales: (Clinical Evolving Forms of Disease, Functional Disability Scale for and Scale Systems Extended Functional Disability [Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale]).Results: Dysphagia was found in 90% of patients. Among the clinical forms of the disease, the progressive forms (primary progressive and secondary progressive) were more frequently associated with severe dysphagia, while the relapsing-remitting form presented more often mild and moderate dysphagia. Regarding the Disability Scale for Functional Systems, cerebellar function, brainstem function and mental health were associated with dysphagia, especially in the severe form. Regarding the Extended Functional Disability Scale, higher scores were associated with severe dysphagia.Conclusion: Dysphagia is common in MS patients, especially in those with greater impairment of neurological functions.
Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. São Paulo: Assoc Brasileira Otorrinolaringologia & Cirurgia Cervicofacial, v. 79, n. 4, p. 460-465, 2013.