J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2018 Jul;8(2):67-75. 10.0000/jkdps.2018.8.2.67.

Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study of Radiation Induced Dysphagia in Head and Neck Cancer

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea. ijsh6679@gmail.com


Dysphagia is a symptom of head and neck cancer itself and a significant complication of its treatments. Radiation therapy also causes dysphagia due to radiation toxicity. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate patients who complain of dysphagia after radiation therapy. A video fluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) is an imaging tool that can diagnose dysphagia objectively from the oral to the esophagus phase. This tool is also used to evaluate to radiation-induced dysphagia. The abnormal findings in each swallowing phase are diverse. Interpreting each abnormal finding in relation to periodic complications caused by radiation toxicity is very important. A delayed pharyngeal transit time is the most characteristic abnormal finding of VFSS due to fibrosis, which is a chronic complication. To accurately assess the radiation-induced dysphagia, an evaluation of dysphagia prior to radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients should be preceded. A multidisciplinary approach for evaluating dysphagia is needed throughout the entire period of head and neck cancer treatment.


Dysphagia; Head and neck cancer; Radiation; Video fluoroscopic swallowing study
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