Ann Rehabil Med.  2013 Oct;37(5):633-641. 10.5535/arm.2013.37.5.633.

Comparison of Swallowing Functions Between Brain Tumor and Stroke Patients

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Regional Cardiocerebral Rehabilitation Center, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


To compare the swallowing functions according to the lesion locations between brain tumor and stroke patients.
Forty brain tumor patients and the same number of age-, lesion-, and functional status-matching stroke patients were enrolled in this study. Before beginning the swallowing therapy, swallowing function was evaluated in all subjects by videofluoroscopic swallowing study. Brain lesions were classified as either supratentorial or in-fratentorial. We evaluated the following: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Outcome Measurement System (NOMS) swallowing scale, clinical dysphagia scale, functional dysphagia scale (FDS), penetration-aspiration scale (PAS), oral transit time, pharyngeal transit time, the presence of vallecular pouch residue, pyriform sinus residue, laryngopharyngeal incoordination, premature spillage, a decreased swal-lowing reflex, pneumonia, and the feeding method at discharge.
The incidence of dysphagia was similar in brain tumor and stroke patients. There were no differences in the results of the various swallowing scales and other parameters between the two groups. When compared brain tumor patients with supratentorial lesions, brain tumor patients with infratentorial lesions showed higher propor-tion of dysphagia (p=0.01), residue (p<0.01), FDS (p<0.01), PAS (p<0.01), and lower ASHA NOMS (p=0.02) at initial evaluation. However, there was no significant difference for the swallowing functions between benign and malig-nant brain tumor patients.
Swallowing function of brain tumor patients was not different from that of stroke patients according to matching age, location of lesion, and functional status. Similar to the stroke patients, brain tumor patients with infratentorial lesions present poor swallowing functions. However, the type of brain tumor as malignancy does not influence swallowing functions.


Brain tumor; Dysphagia; Videofluoroscopic swallowing study; Infratentorial lesion; Malignancy
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