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Development Of A System To Monitor Laryngeal Movement During Swallowing Using A Bend Sensor

Q. Li, K. Hori, Y. Minagi, T. Ono, Y. Chen, J. Kondo, S. Fujiwara, K. Tamine, H. Hayashi, M. Inoue, Y. Maeda
Published 2013 · Biology, Medicine

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Background Swallowing dysfunction (also known as dysphagia), which results in a deterioration of nutritional intake, slows rehabilitation and causes aspiration pneumonia, is very common following neurological impairments. Although videofluorographic (VF) examination is widely used for detecting aspiration, an objective and non-invasive method for assessing swallowing function has yet to be established because of a lack of adequate devices and protocols. In this paper, a bend sensor whose resistance is altered by bending was introduced to monitor swallowing-related laryngeal movement. Methods Six healthy male volunteers were recruited in the present study. Specific time points on the signal waveform produced by the bend sensor were defined to describe laryngeal movement by differential analysis. Additionally, the physiological significance of the obtained waveform was confirmed by analyzing the sequential correlations between the signal waveform from the bend sensor and hyoid bone kinetics simultaneously recorded by VF. Results Seven time points were successfully defined on the signal waveform to reference laryngeal movement. Each time point was well correlated with certain VF events, with evidence of no significant time lags, and there were positive correlations between waveform time points and matched VF events. Furthermore, obvious similarities were noticed between the duration of each phase on the signal waveform and the duration of the matched hyoid bone activity. Conclusions The present monitoring system using a bend sensor might be useful for observing the temporal aspects of laryngeal movement during swallowing, and it was well coordinated with hyoid bone movement.
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