Current evaluation of the dysphagic patient

Hippokratia 2009, 13(3):141-146

PD Karkos, S Papouliakos, CD Karkos, EG Theochari


Dysphagia is a symptom so common and diverse that is often considered as a disease in its own right. Its severity can range from a trivial problem to a lethal condition. It can seriously compromise the quality of life of affected patients, therefore management should be prompt. The implications of dysphagia in healthcare costs are immense. Assessment of dysphagic patients is based on a comprehensive history and thorough examination. In the present review we discuss physiology, aetiology, diagnosis and management emphasizing the role of a multidisciplinary team approach. We also focus on the role of fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing which revolutionized over recent years the assessment of the dysphagic patient.