Purpose. To investigate swallowing problems in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) using a questionnaire and videofluorography (VF). Method. A questionnaire survey was performed of swallowing-related symptoms and VF in 31 male patients with DMD (mean age 19.9 years, range 9-26 years). The relationships among age, frequency of symptoms and VF abnormalities were analysed using Spearman's rank correlation. The differences in VF abnormalities among different food textures were analysed with the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results. Symptoms related to pharyngeal phase dysfunction were more frequent than those related to oral and oesophageal phases. Coughing while eating was seen in 71% of the patients, choking while eating in 32% and the need to clear the throat in 26%. VF abnormalities were observed in 30 patients (96.8%). Common VF abnormalities included pooling in the valleculae (90.3%) and in the pyriform sinus (90.3%). Pharyngo-oral regurgitation was seen in 35.5% of the patients. Pooling in the pyriform sinus after repeated swallowing seen in VF correlated significantly with symptoms related to the pharyngeal phase (Spearman's rho 0.356-0.544). Conclusion. Because oropharyngeal dysphagia in DMD was evident in teenage patients as well as those without clinical symptoms, VF is recommended in patients with DMD.
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