Purpose Patients affected by COVID-19 are assumed to be at high risk of developing swallowing disorders. However, to our best knowledge, data on the characteristics and incidence of dysphagia associated with COVID-19 are lacking, especially in non-intubated patients. Therefore, we investigated the onset of swallowing disorders in patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection who have not been treated with invasive ventilation, in order to evaluate how the virus affected swallowing function regardless of orotracheal intubation. Methods We evaluated 41 patients admitted to the COVID department of our Hospital when they had already passed the acute phase of the disease and were therefore asymptomatic but still positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. We examined patients' clinical history and performed the Volume-Viscosity Swallow Test (VVST). Each patient also answered the Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire (SDQ). After 6 months, we performed a follow-up in patients with swallowing disorders. Results Eight of 41 patients (20%) presented with dysphagia symptoms during hospitalization and 2 of them (25%) still presented a SDQ high score and swallowing disorders with liquid consistency after 6 months. Conclusion Non-intubated patients can experience various grades of swallowing impairment that probably directly related to pulmonary respiratory function alterations and viral direct neuronal lesive activity. Although these symptoms show natural tendency to spontaneous resolution, their impact on a general physical impaired situation should not be underestimated, since it can adversely affect patients' recovery from COVID-19 worsening health outcomes.

Dysphagia in non-intubated patients affected by COVID-19 infection

Giancaspro, Rossana
;
Del Colle, Anna;Lacedonia, Donato;Foschino Barbaro, Maria Pia;Cassano, Michele
2022

Abstract

Purpose Patients affected by COVID-19 are assumed to be at high risk of developing swallowing disorders. However, to our best knowledge, data on the characteristics and incidence of dysphagia associated with COVID-19 are lacking, especially in non-intubated patients. Therefore, we investigated the onset of swallowing disorders in patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection who have not been treated with invasive ventilation, in order to evaluate how the virus affected swallowing function regardless of orotracheal intubation. Methods We evaluated 41 patients admitted to the COVID department of our Hospital when they had already passed the acute phase of the disease and were therefore asymptomatic but still positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. We examined patients' clinical history and performed the Volume-Viscosity Swallow Test (VVST). Each patient also answered the Swallowing Disturbance Questionnaire (SDQ). After 6 months, we performed a follow-up in patients with swallowing disorders. Results Eight of 41 patients (20%) presented with dysphagia symptoms during hospitalization and 2 of them (25%) still presented a SDQ high score and swallowing disorders with liquid consistency after 6 months. Conclusion Non-intubated patients can experience various grades of swallowing impairment that probably directly related to pulmonary respiratory function alterations and viral direct neuronal lesive activity. Although these symptoms show natural tendency to spontaneous resolution, their impact on a general physical impaired situation should not be underestimated, since it can adversely affect patients' recovery from COVID-19 worsening health outcomes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/421229
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