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The therapeutic effect and complications of oro-esophageal tube training in stroke patients

Authors Kang S, Lee SJ, Park MK, Choi E, Lee S

Received 20 February 2019

Accepted for publication 30 April 2019

Published 11 July 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1255—1264


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Saerom Kang,1 Sook Joung Lee,1 Min Kyu Park,2 Eunseok Choi,1 Sangjee Lee1

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Daejeon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Chung Buk National University Hospital, College of Medicine, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea

Background: Patients with severe dysphagia after stroke are usually fed using a nasogastric tube. However, this method is inconvenient and causes complications. The oro-esophageal (OE) tube has been used as an alternative parenteral feeding method for patients for whom safe oral feeding is impossible. This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects and complications of OE tube feeding in stroke patients with dysphagia.
Methods: This study was designed as a retrospective medical chart review of dysphagic stroke patients who were recommended for OE tube feeding. Thirty-eight stroke patients were recommended for OE tube feeding according to videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) findings. Of those patients, 17 received OE tube feeding training and conventional dysphagia therapy. Follow-up VFSSs were performed sequentially based on the patients’ conditions. When a patient was able to swallow therapeutic foods with specific viscosities during the VFSS, oral feeding was considered to be initiated. Patients were divided into two groups according to final feeding methods.
Results: Seventeen patients attempted OE tube feeding. Among them, 64.7% of the patients could change to full oral feeding at their follow-up VFSS evaluation. Additionally, 70.6% of the patients showed gastroesophageal reflux disease regardless of whether they changed to oral feeding. On individual items of the Functional Dysphagia Scale, both groups showed significant improvements in the triggering of pharyngeal swallowing, the amount of residue, and the pharyngeal transit time. These functions were better improved in the patients who could change to oral feeding than in those who could not. Both groups showed significant aggravation of nasal penetration.
Conclusion: Our study quantitatively shows the therapeutic effects and complications of OE tube training. OE tube feeding can facilitate the swallowing process and assist patients in transitioning to oral feeding. This easy-to-apply technique may significantly impact future treatment strategies in stroke patients with severe dysphagia.

Keywords: stroke, swallowing disorder, oro-esophageal tube, tube feeding, videofluoroscopy

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