Swallowing disorders in the first year after radiation and chemoradiation

Jeri A. Logemann, Barbara Roa Pauloski, Alfred W. Rademaker, Cathy L. Lazarus, Joy Gaziano, Linda Stachowiak, Lisa Newman, Ellen MacCracken, Daphne Santa, Bharat Mittal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Background. Radiation alone or concurrent chemoradiation can result in severe swallowing disorders. This manuscript defines the swallowing disorders occurring at pretreatment and 3 and 12 months after completion of radiation or chemoradiation. Methods. Forty-eight patients (10 women and 38 men) participated in this study involving videofluorographic evaluation of oropharyngeal swallow at the 3 time points. Results. At baseline, patients had some swallow disorders, probably related to presence of their tumor. At 3 months posttreatment, frequency of reduced tongue base retraction, slow or delayed laryngeal vestibule closure, and reduced laryngeal elevation increased from baseline. Some disorders continued at 12 months posttreatment. Functional swallow decreased over time in patients treated with chemoradiation, but not those treated with radiation alone. Discussion. Chemoradiation results in fewer functional swallowers than radiation alone at 12 months posttreatment completion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoradiation
  • Head and neck
  • Oropharyngeal swallowing disorders
  • Oropharyngeal swallowing physiology
  • Radiation
  • Videofluoroscopy


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