Authors: Krause E, Schirra J, Gurkov R
Title: Botulinum Toxin A Treatment of Cricopharyngeal Dysphagia After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Source: Dysphagia 2008 23(4): 406-410
Year: 2008
Research Design: Single Case Design

Elevated muscular tone associated with spastic syndromes can cause excessive contractility at the upper esophageal sphincter and impede swallowing. A 47-year-old male patient with spasticity predominantly of the lower extremities after a subarachnoid hemorrhage suffered from severe dysphagia and chronic salivary aspiration. He was dependent on a cuffed tracheostomy tube and a percutaneous enterogastric feeding tube. Barium swallow and esophageal manometry revealed cricopharyngeal spasm, while laryngeal elevation and pharyngeal contractility were well preserved. We endoscopically injected 180 MU botulinum toxin A into the cricopharyngeus muscle. Two days post injection, swallowing function had improved and oral nutrition was possible. This improvement lasted for six weeks. After another injection 8 weeks later, an undesired diffusion into the hypopharynx occurred and manometry showed diminished contractility without amelioration of dysphagia. Botulinum toxin therapy of cricopharyngeal spasm improves swallowing function in a subgroup of patients with spastic syndromes. The therapeutic effect is of limited duration. Toxin diffusion into the pharynx should be avoided. Manometry is useful in planning and monitoring the therapy. ©Springer

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