Postintubation Dysphagia During COVID-19 Outbreak-Contemporary Review

Dysphagia. 2020 Aug;35(4):549-557. doi: 10.1007/s00455-020-10139-6. Epub 2020 May 28.


The COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Its rapid dissemination and serious course require a novel approach to healthcare practices. Severe disease progression is often associated with the development of the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and may require some form of respiratory support, including endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and enteral nutrition through a nasogastric tube. These conditions increase the risk of dysphagia, aspiration, and aspiration pneumonia. The data on the incidence and risks of dysphagia associated with COVID-19 are not yet available. However, it is assumed that these patients are at high risk, because of respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function. These findings may exacerbate swallowing deficits. The aim of this review is to summarize available information on possible mechanisms of postintubation dysphagia in COVID-19 patients. Recommendations regarding the diagnosis and management of postintubation dysphagia in COVID-19 patients are described in this contemporary review.

Keywords: COVID-19; Deglutition; Deglutition disorders; Postintubation dysphagia; Swallowing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / therapy
  • Deglutition Disorders / virology
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects