J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2013 Jul;3(2):78-85.

Characteristics of Dysphagia of Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

  • 1Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that are influenced on swallowing function in non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with dysphagia. Also, we aimed to investigate the difference of swallowing function according to the type of diet in these patients. Method: Sixteen patients diagnosed with NSCLC were included. The medical records and findings of videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) using pureed and liquid diet were investigated retrospectively. We compared pureed diet and thin liquid in the swallowing function. Result: Bolus formation was poorer with increasing age. Triggering of pharyngeal swallow was impaired in patient with lymph node metastasis. Patients who underwent radiotherapy showed higher functional dysphagia scale score and, more specifically, delayed triggering of pharyngeal swallow, more residue in pyriform sinuses, and more frequent coating of pharyngeal wall after swallow. When swallowing pureed diet, patients showed more residue in valleculae and pyriform sinuses, and more frequent coating of pharyngeal wall after swallow than when swallowing thin liquid. When swallowing thin liquid, patients showed poorer epiglottic closure and more frequent aspiration than when swallowing pureed diet.
Age, lymph node metastasis, and radiation therapy are risk factors of dysphagia in patients with NSCLC. Swallowing problems of these patients vary according to the rheological properties of diet. We have to apply appropriate swallowing therapy based on the characteristics of dysphagia of these patients.


American Speech Language and Hearing Association; National Outcomes Measurement System; Dysphagia; Functional Dysphagia Scale; Non small cell lung cancer; Penetration Aspiration Scale
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