Post-stroke dysphagia (PSD) is present in more than 50% of acute stroke patients, increases the risk of complications, in particular aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration, and is linked to poor outcome and mortality. The aim of this guideline is to assist all members of the multidisciplinary team in their management of patients with PSD. These guidelines were developed based on the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) standard operating procedure and followed the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. An interdisciplinary working group identified 20 relevant questions, performed systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the literature, assessed the quality of the available evidence and wrote evidence-based recommendations. Expert opinion was provided if not enough evidence was available to provide recommendations based on the GRADE approach. We found moderate quality of evidence to recommend dysphagia screening in all stroke patients to prevent post-stroke pneumonia and to early mortality and low quality of evidence to suggest dysphagia assessment in stroke patients having been identified at being at risk of PSD. We found low to moderate quality of evidence for a variety of treatment options to improve swallowing physiology and swallowing safety. These options include dietary interventions, behavioural swallowing treatment including acupuncture, nutritional interventions, oral health care, different pharmacological agents and different types of neurostimulation treatment. Some of the studied interventions also had an impact on other clinical endpoints such as feedings status or pneumonia. Overall, further randomized trials are needed to improve the quality of evidence for the treatment of PSD.
- dysphagia screening
- impaired deglutition
- videofluoroscopic swallowing study
- flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing