J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2021 Jul;11(2):143-146. 10.34160/jkds.2021.11.2.009.

Dysphagia due to Physiological Constriction after Stroke: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dong-Eui Medical Center, Busan, Korea


The aortic arch normally causes no symptomatic physiological constriction of the esophagus. Symptoms of dysphagia are generally observed in the presence of specific conditions, such as an aortic aneurysm. In the present case, during a videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS), the authors incidentally found that despite the absence of an aortic lesion, the dysphagia observed in a stroke patient was caused by compression from the aortic arch. The patient complained of discomfort when swallowing, similar to a bolus lodged in the chest, which was consistent with compression by the aortic arch found on the VFSS and chest computed tomography (CT). After undergoing dysphagia therapy, the VFSS after 52 days revealed improved swallowing function; however, the sensation of food lodging in the chest due to compression by the aortic arch persisted. We conclude that although the physiological constriction of the esophagus by the aortic arch is usually asymptomatic, the constriction can be a factor that exacerbates the swallowing function in patients with dysphagia, and should therefore be considered during the differential diagnosis.


Deglutition disorders; Esophagus; Stroke
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