Sensory dysphagia: A case series and proposed classification of an under recognized swallowing disorder

Laura F. Santoso, Daniel Y. Kim, David Paydarfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Although sensory feedback is a vital regulator of deglutition, it is not comprehensively considered in the standard dysphagia evaluation. Difficulty swallowing secondary to sensory loss may be termed “sensory dysphagia” and may account for cases receiving diagnoses of exclusion, like functional or idiopathic dysphagia. Methods and Results: Three cases of idiopathic dysphagia were suspected to have sensory dysphagia. The patients had (1) effortful swallowing, (2) globus sensation, and (3) aspiration. Endoscopic sensory mapping revealed laryngopharyngeal sensory loss. Despite normal laryngeal motor function during voluntary maneuvers, laryngeal closure was incomplete during swallowing. The causes of sensory loss were identified: cranial neuropathy from Chiari malformation, immune-mediated neuronopathy, and nerve damage from prior traumatic intubation. Conclusions: Sensory loss may cause dysphagia without primary motor dysfunction. Sensory dysphagia should be classified as a distinct form of swallowing motility disorder to improve diagnosis. Increasing awareness and developing appropriate assessment tools may advance dysphagia care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E71-E78
JournalHead and Neck
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Fingerprint

Deglutition Disorders
Deglutition
Cranial Nerve Diseases
Sensory Feedback
Intubation

Keywords

  • dysphagia
  • flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing with sensory testing
  • globus pharyngeus
  • internal superior laryngeal nerve
  • sensory dysphagia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this

Sensory dysphagia : A case series and proposed classification of an under recognized swallowing disorder. / Santoso, Laura F.; Kim, Daniel Y.; Paydarfar, David.

In: Head and Neck, Vol. 41, No. 5, 05.2019, p. E71-E78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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