Swallow Safety and Laryngeal Kinematics: A Comparison of Dysphagia Between Parkinson's Disease and Cerebrovascular Accident

J Parkinsons Dis. 2022;12(7):2147-2159. doi: 10.3233/JPD-223272.


Background: Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are well established etiologies of dysphagia. However, differing physiological mechanisms underlying dysphagia may exist between these two causes. There have been limited investigations specifically comparing dysphagia between these two groups. Comparing dysphagia presentation in two different populations may improve clinical expectations, guide treatment approaches, and inform future research.

Objective: This study examined the differences in presentation of dysphagia between PD and CVA. Dysphagia presentation, swallow safety, and laryngeal kinematics were compared between two clinical cohorts. What factors best predicted airway invasion in each group were explored.

Methods: 110 swallow studies of individuals with PD and CVA who were referred for swallowing evaluation were obtained. Each video was analyzed for quantitative dysphagia presentation using the Videofluoroscopic Dysphagia Scale (VDS), swallow safety using the Penetration-Aspiration scale, and kinematic timings of the laryngeal vestibule (time-to-laryngeal vestibule closure [LVC] and closure duration [LVCd]).

Results: Frequencies of penetration or aspiration were similar between groups. The PD group displayed significantly greater pharyngeal stage swallow impairment than CVA, with more frequent reduced laryngeal elevation and increased vallecular residue. The CVA group displayed significantly greater oral stage impairment, with prolonged oral transit times. Time-to-LVC was significantly prolonged and was the strongest predictor of airway invasion in the PD group, but not for CVA.

Conclusion: Similar airway invasion rates for PD and CVA indicate the importance of screening for dysphagia in PD. Laryngeal kinematics as significant contributors to airway invasion in PD but not for CVA highlight the need for further research into these mechanisms and for targeted treatment approaches to dysphagia.

Keywords: Dysphagia; Parkinson’s disease; stroke; swallowing disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Deglutition Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Deglutition Disorders* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / adverse effects
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Stroke* / complications