Ann Rehabil Med.  2020 Jun;44(3):203-209. 10.5535/arm.19140.

Changes in Pharyngeal Width Over Time as an Indicator of Dysphagia in Stroke Patients

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea


To verify the pharyngeal width at rest as a measurement that could be used to assess changes in the degree of dysphagia over time in stroke patients.
In a cohort of stroke patients, we performed serial measurements of the pharyngeal width at the midpoints of the second (C2) and third (C3) cervical vertebral bodies using lateral neck X-rays while the patients were at rest. The JOSCYL width, a parameter named after the first initial of each developers’ surname and defined as the average value of the upper and lower pharyngeal widths, was used to formulate the JOSCYL scale, which was calculated as the JOSCYL width × 100/neck circumference. All patients also underwent serial videofluoroscopic swallowing studies (VFSSs). The Spearman correlation analysis was used to detect correlations between the serial VFSS results, JOSCYL widths, and JOSCYL scale values.
Over time, we observed significant positive and negative correlations of change in the JOSCYL width and scale with changes in the Penetration-Aspiration Scale and the Dysphagia Outcome and Severity Scale scores, respectively.
The JOSCYL width and JOSCYL scale clearly reflected changes in dysphagia in stroke patients over time. These parameters may provide an easier method for evaluating whether post-stroke dysphagia has been alleviated.


Pharynx; Deglutition disorder; Respiratory aspiration; Stroke
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