Resting respiration in dysphagic patients following acute stroke.
Leslie P., Drinnan MJ., Ford GA., Wilson JA.
The aim of this study was to examine respiration characteristics at rest in healthy volunteers and patients with poststroke dysphagia, using a simple notebook computer-based system. Eighteen patients (age range=51-82 years) with dysphagia poststroke and 50 healthy volunteers (age range=20-78 years) were recruited. The patient group had a wide range of stroke severity as assessed using the Scandinavian Stroke Score (SSS 6-51) and Barthel Index (BI 2-20). Length of breathing cycle, rate, and a measure of the variability of the cycle length were examined. The patient group had a shorter mean cycle length (2.93 s compared with 3.91 s, p < 0.01) and hence faster respiration rate (0.35 Hz compared with 0.26 Hz, p < 0.01). The control group showed greater variability in the cycle length (10.78% compared with 6.56%, p = 0.01). There was no correlation between the SSS and BI and resting respiration variables. This suggests that it is not stroke severity alone that affects breathing. The differences observed in resting respiratory rate suggest that respiratory monitoring as a useful adjunct to the clinical bedside assessment warrants further investigation.