Differences of laryngeal closure during the swallow between stroke and head and neck cancer survivors

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the difference of two laryngeal closure transition measures: initiation of laryngeal closure (ILC) and laryngeal closure duration (LCD) among stroke survivors, head and neck cancer survivors, and healthy age-matched controls. Methods: ILC and LCD were determined by analyzing two 5ml thin liquid swallows exhibited by each of the 15 stroke survivors, 15 head and neck cancer survivors, and 15 healthy controls from the videofluoroscopic swallowing examinations (VFSEs). Statistical analyses were made using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the three groups as independent variables with the statistical level set at p<0.05. Results: ILC was longer in stroke survivors compared to head and neck survivors and healthy controls; however, these results were only significant compared to controls. Head and neck cancer survivors exhibited significantly longer LCD when compared to healthy controls, but not to stroke survivors. Conclusions: Differential diagnosis based on swallowing pathophysiology is critical to manage and treat dysphagia in these populations.