Characteristics of submental muscles function and hyoid bone movement in patients with dysphagia after stroke


      • Professionals assess swallowing function in detail in patients with dysphagia.
      • Submental muscles and hyoid movement function are impaired in patients.
      • There is a loss of synergy between the submental muscles and hyoid movement.



      Dysphagia is one of the common complications after stroke. Dysphagia significantly increases the probability of serious adverse consequences. The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics of submental muscles electromyography and hyoid motion parameters between patients with dysphagia after stroke and healthy controls, and whether there is a synergistic effect between the function of the submental muscles and the movement of the hyoid.


      Fifteen patients with post-stroke dysphagia and fifteen healthy adults simultaneously underwent the videofluoroscopic and surface electromyography of the submental muscles while swallowing 5 ml of concentrated liquid barium sulphate. The electromyographic signal of the submental muscles was analysed along with parameters of hyoid movement.


      Stage transition duration and duration of surface electromyographic activity were extended significantly in post-stroke dysphagia patients(P < 0.05). Surface electromyography amplitude and hyoid movement were significantly reduced in patients (P < 0.05). There was a significant correlation between the maximum hyoid movement distance and the peak sEMG amplitude in healthy controls (r = 0.660, P = 0.014), but not in patients with dysphagia after stroke (r = 0.425, P = 0.148).


      Submental muscles electromyographic signal changes in patients may be the result of uncoordinated muscle contractions and decreased muscle strength. Furthermore, the reduced hyoid movement distance may be due to impaired function of the submental muscles. In addition, the submental muscles and hyoid movement or other swallowing structures functions were impaired to varying degrees, resulting in the disappearance of the correlation between the maximum movement distance of the hyoid and the peak amplitude.


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