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In Dysphagia

Clinicians evaluate swallow kinematic events by analyzing videofluoroscopy (VF) images for dysphagia management. The duration of upper esophageal sphincter opening (DUESO) is one important temporal swallow event, because reduced DUESO can result in pharyngeal residue and penetration/aspiration. VF is frequently used for evaluating swallowing but exposes patients to radiation and is not always feasible/readily available. High resolution cervical auscultation (HRCA) is a non-invasive, sensor-based dysphagia screening method that uses signal processing and machine learning to characterize swallowing. We investigated HRCA's ability to annotate DUESO and predict Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSImP) scores (component #14). We hypothesized that HRCA and machine learning techniques would detect DUESO with similar accuracy as human judges. Trained judges completed temporal kinematic measurements of DUESO on 719 swallows (116 patients) and 50 swallows (15 age-matched healthy adults). An MBSImP certified clinician completed MBSImP ratings on 100 swallows. A multi-layer convolutional recurrent neural network (CRNN) using HRCA signal features for input was used to detect DUESO. Generalized estimating equations models were used to determine statistically significant HRCA signal features for predicting DUESO MBSImP scores. A support vector machine (SVM) classifier and a leave-one-out procedure was used to predict DUESO MBSImP scores. The CRNN detected UES opening within a 3-frame tolerance for 82.6% of patient and 86% of healthy swallows and UES closure for 72.3% of patient and 64% of healthy swallows. The SVM classifier predicted DUESO MBSImP scores with 85.7% accuracy. This study provides evidence of HRCA's feasibility in detecting DUESO without VF images.

Donohue Cara, Khalifa Yassin, Perera Subashan, Sejdić Ervin, Coyle James L


Cervical auscultation, Deglutition, Deglutition disorders, Dysphagia, Machine learning, Swallow screening, Upper esophageal sphincter, Videofluoroscopy