J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2020 Jan;10(1):113-122. 10.34160/jkds.2020.10.1.014.

Characteristics and Risk Factors of Aspiration in Lateral Medullary Infarction

  • 1Department and Research Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University, Seoul, Korea


To evaluate the characteristics of dysphagia and identify the risk factors of bolus aspiration in patients presenting with pure lateral medullary infarction (LMI).
Between January 2014 and January 2019, 51 post-stroke patients with LMI who underwent a videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) were enrolled retrospectively, and their medical records and brain magnetic resonance imaging results were reviewed. The VFSS results were evaluated to analyze the swallowing function using the penetration-aspiration scale, functional dysphagia scale, and imaging analysis software.
Bolus aspiration was detected in 21 patients (41.2%). The common abnormal VFSS findings were residue in valleculae (74.5%), delayed triggering of pharyngeal swallow (72.5%), residue in pyriform sinuses (62.7%), delayed pharyngeal transit time (56.9%), reduced laryngeal elevation (51.0%), and coating of the pharyngeal wall (49.0%). The incidence of aspiration was significantly higher in the typical lesions (including the diagonal band-shaped lesions) and the large type lesions extending ventrally or dorsally, as compared to other lesion types (P<0.05). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the residue in pyriform sinuses is a significant independent risk factor of aspiration in the puree trial, and prolonged pharyngeal delay time (PDT) and residue in valleculae are significant risk factors in the thin liquid trial (P<0.05).
Considering all clinical factors, lesion locations, and swallowing processes, results of the current study indicate that residue in pyriform sinuses is an independent risk factor of aspiration in the swallowing puree technique, whereas prolonged PDT and residue in valleculae are independent risk factors of aspiration in the swallowing liquid technique.


Dysphagia; Aspiration; Lateral medullary infarction
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