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Ann Rehabil Med. 2019 Feb;43(1):11-18. English. Original Article.
Lee KW , Kim SB , Lee JH , Lee SJ , Park JG , Jang KW .
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Regional Cardiocerebrovascular Center, Dong-A Medical Center, Busan, Korea.


To determine positive effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in conventional dysphagia therapy on masseter muscle oral dysfunction of patients after subacute stroke.


Among subacute stroke patients who were diagnosed as oropharyngeal dysphagia by videofluoroscopy swallowing study (VFSS), those with oral dysfunction were enrolled. They were randomly assigned to a study group or a control group. The study group received NMES on masseter muscle and suprahyoid muscle simultaneously, while the control group received NMES only on suprahyoid muscle. NMES therapy session as applied 30 minutes each time, two times per day for a total of 20 sessions. Both groups received conventional dysphagia therapy for 2 weeks. All enrolled patients were evaluated by VFSS after 2 weeks. Oropharyngeal swallowing function was evaluated by Penetration-Aspiration Scale, Functional Dysphagia Scale (FDS), and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Outcome Measurement System swallowing scale based on results of VFSS.


Patients were randomly assigned to the study group (n=20) or the control group (n=20). There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics or initial values between the two groups. After 2 weeks of NMES, both groups showed improvement in scores of total FDS and pharyngeal phase FDS. Additionally, the study group showed improvement in oral phase FDS. Changes in all measurements were similar between the two groups.


In this preliminary study, NMES for masseter muscle has a therapeutic effect on oral dysfunction of patients after subacute stroke.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.