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    Swallowing function after occipitocervical arthrodesis for cervical deformity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ebata Shigeto,Hatsushika Kyousuke,Ohba Tetsuro,Nitta Kyohko,Akaike Hiroshi,Masuyama Keisuke,Haro Hirotaka NeuroRehabilitation BACKGROUND:Some patients develop dysphagia after OC arthrodesis with RA. A previous report has indicated that establishing appropriate occipito-C2 is important for avoiding these side effects. However, a more recent report has demonstrated that the O-C2 angle did not have a significant effect on the incidence of postoperative dysphagia. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the swallowing function of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before and after they underwent occipitocervical (OC) fusion. METHODS:The study was performed in collaboration with the Departments of Orthopaedic, Otorhinolaryngology, and Rehabilitation. Seven consecutive patients (3 men and 4 women; mean age, 66.4 years) with RA-induced upper cervical deformity were enrolled from 2013 to 2014. The patients underwent deglutition analysis, which was performed by otorhinolaryngologists, before and after surgery, and comprised videofluoroscopy and fiberoptic endoscopy. We examined the relationship between imaging studies and swallowing function. RESULTS:Preoperatively, subjective dysphagia was reported by 2 patients. Videofluoroscopy identified dysmotility of the epiglottis and incomplete closure of the laryngeal inlet in 2 patients, with contrast medium entering the larynx, and endoscopy identified food residue in the larynx of 1 patient during swallowing evaluation. Postoperatively, 2 patients with preoperative impaired deglutition showed dysphagia. Imaging examinations of the 2 patients revealed a 10°-reduction in the O-C2 angle of 1 patient, but the angle was unchanged in the other patient. CONCLUSIONS:To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to evaluate swallowing function before and after O-C3 arthrodesis. The preoperative O-C2 angle was unchanged after surgery. Impairment of deglutition may be closely associated with air leakage from the oropharynx due to impaired mobility of the soft palate. Because the precise mechanism of dysphagia has not been fully elucidated, further study using dynamic videofluoroscopy and videoendoscopy is needed to examine the swallowing mechanism. 10.3233/NRE-151262
    Preliminary Evaluation of the Pathomechanisms of Dysphagia After Occipitospinal Fusion: Kinematic Analysis by Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study. Kaneyama Shuichi,Sumi Masatoshi,Takabatake Masato,Kasahara Koichi,Kanemura Aritetsu,Koh Akihiro,Hirata Hiroaki Spine STUDY DESIGN:Kinematic analysis of swallowing function using videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS). OBJECTIVES:The aims of this study were to analyze swallowing process in the patients who underwent occipitospinal fusion (OSF) and elucidate the pathomechanism of dysphagia after OSF. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:Although several hypotheses about the pathomechanisms of dysphagia after OSF were suggested, there has been little tangible evidence to support these hypotheses since these hypotheses were based on the analysis of static radiogram or CT. Considering that swallowing is a compositive motion of oropharyngeal structures, the etiology of postoperative dysphagia should be investigated through kinematic approaches. METHODS:Each four patients with or without postoperative dysphagia (group D and N, respectively) participated in this study. For VFSS, all patients were monitored to swallow 5-mL diluted barium solution by fluoroscopy, and then dynamic passing pattern of the barium solution was analyzed. Additionally, O-C2 angle (O-C2A) was measured for the assessment of craniocervical alignment. RESULTS:O-C2A in group D was -7.5 degrees, which was relatively smaller than 10.3 degrees in group N (P = 0.07). In group D, all cases presented smooth medium passing without any obstruction at the upper cervical level regardless of O-C2A, whereas the obstruction to the passage of medium was detected at the apex of mid-lower cervical ocurvature, where the anterior protrusion of mid-lower cervical spine compressed directly the pharyngeal space. In group N, all cases showed smooth passing of medium through the whole process of swallowing. CONCLUSION:This study presented that postoperative dysphagia did not occur at the upper cervical level even though there was smaller angle of O-C2A and demonstrated the narrowing of the oropharyngeal space towing to direct compression by the anterior protrusion of mid-lower cervical spine was the etiology of dysphagia after OSF. Therefore, surgeon should pay attention to the alignment of mid-cervical spine as well as craniocervical junction during OSF. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:4. 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001805