Long-term effects on swallowing and laryngeal function after treatment for severe COVID-19 disease in intensive care.

Dotevall H, Tuomi L, Lindell E, Finizia C

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol - (-) - [2024-04-20; online 2024-04-20]

This study aimed to assess swallowing and laryngeal function at long-term follow-up in patients treated for severe COVID-19 in the ICU. Thirty-six patients with severe COVID-19 were prospectively examined with fiberendoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) about 6 and 12 months after ICU discharge. Comparison with initial FEES examinations during the time in hospital was performed in 17 patients. Analysis of swallowing function and laryngeal features was performed from video recordings. Twenty-five participants responded to Eating Assessment Tool, Voice Handicap Index, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at follow-up. Penetration to the laryngeal vestibule (PAS ≥ 3) was seen in 22% and silent aspiration (PAS = 8) in 11% of patients on at least one swallow at follow-up. Fourteen percent had obvious residue in the vallecula and/or pyriform sinuses after swallowing thick liquid or biscuits. Self-reported eating and swallowing difficulties were found in 40% of patients. Abnormal findings in the larynx were present in 53% at follow-up. Thirty-three percent had reduced or impaired vocal fold movement, of whom 22% had bilateral impaired abduction of the vocal folds. Possible anxiety and depression were found in 36% and 24% of responders, respectively. Although a majority of patients appear to regain normal swallowing function by 1 year after treatment for severe COVID-19, our results indicate that dysphagia, abnormal laryngeal function, and anxiety/depression may remain in a substantial proportion of patients. This suggests that swallowing and laryngeal function, and emotional symptoms, should be followed up systematically over time in this patient group.

Category: Post-COVID

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38642087

DOI 10.1007/s00405-024-08648-3

Crossref 10.1007/s00405-024-08648-3

pii: 10.1007/s00405-024-08648-3

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