Dysphagia in elderly men with myasthenia gravis

J Neurol Sci. 1996 Jun;138(1-2):49-52. doi: 10.1016/0022-510x(95)00329-z.


Eight elderly men whose primary symptoms of myasthenia gravis were decreased speech and swallowing ability were seen for speech pathology evaluations and videofluoroscopic swallow studies. All patients had fatigable flaccid dysarthria and greater than expected pharyngeal phase dysphagia on videofluoroscopy; eight had decreased pharyngeal motility as demonstrated by residual material in the valleculae and pyriform sinuses bilaterally; seven had episodes of laryngeal penetration secondary to overflow of residual material; and five experienced silent aspiration despite gag reflexes and the ability to cough to command. Five patients required feeding tubes because their dysphagia responded poorly to treatment. Videofluoroscopic swallow studies revealed a common swallowing profile with pharyngeal phase dysphagia greater than expected from patient symptoms. Dysphagia did not improve at the same rate as other manifestations of myasthenia gravis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications*
  • Video Recording