Medically Unexplained Oropharyngeal Dysphagia at the University Hospital ENT Outpatient Clinic for Dysphagia: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study
Dysphagia p. 1- 9
Medically unexplained oropharyngeal dysphagia (MUNOD) is a rare condition. It presents without demonstrable abnormalities in the anatomy of the upper aero-digestive tract and/or swallowing physiology. This study investigates whether MUNOD is related to affective or other psychiatric conditions. The study included patients with dysphagic complaints who had no detectible structural or physiological abnormalities upon swallowing examination. Patients with any underlying disease or disorder that could explain the oropharyngeal dysphagia were excluded. All patients underwent a standardized examination protocol, with FEES examination, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Dysphagia Severity Scale (DSS). Two blinded judges scored five different FEES variables. None of the 14 patients included in this study showed any structural or physiological abnormalities during FEES examination. However, the majority did show abnormal piecemeal deglutition, which could be a symptom of MUNOD. Six patients (42.8%) had clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. The DSS scores did not differ significantly between patients with and without affective symptoms. Affective symptoms are common in patients with MUNOD, and their psychiatric conditions could possibly be related to their swallowing problems.