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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 380682, 9 pages
Research Article

Swallowing in Parkinson Patients versus Healthy Controls: Reliability of Measurements in Videofluoroscopy

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands
2Department of Speech and Language Pathology, HAN University of Applied Sciences, 6525 EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3Department of Methodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, 6229 HA Maastricht, The Netherlands
4Department of Neurology, Maastricht University Medical Center, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands
5Departamento de Cirugía, Hospital de Mataróy CIBEREHD, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Mataró, Spain

Received 14 February 2011; Accepted 9 July 2011

Academic Editor: Roberto O. Dantas

Copyright © 2011 Laura W. J. Baijens et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine and describe the pathophysiological aspects of oropharyngeal swallowing in patients with Parkinson's disease more accurately, a pilot study of qualitative as well as quantitative parameters of swallowing was performed using videofluoroscopy (VFS). Methods. Ten patients with a diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease having dysphagic complaints and ten healthy age- and gender-matched control subjects underwent a standardized videofluoroscopic swallowing protocol. Information on the swallowing function was derived from temporal, spatial, and descriptive visuoperceptual parameters. Intra- and interrater reliability was calculated. Results. No significant differences were found between Parkinson patients and healthy control subjects for the majority of the reliable variables. Conclusions. It was concluded that swallowing function seemed to be preserved in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, the reliability of many quantitative as well as qualitative swallowing parameters proved insufficient, raising questions about the interpretation of study outcomes in videofluoroscopy.