The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between scintigraphy and videofluoroscopy (VFS) in swallowing evaluation and the ability of scintigraphy to predict penetration/aspiration in VFS.
This is a case-control study enrolling 50 patients with dysphagia who received scintigraphy and VFS and 18 age-matched control subjects who received scintigraphy alone. Three parameters were compared between scintigraphy and VFS: premature pharyngeal entry, pharyngeal transit time, and postswallow pharyngeal stasis, with cutoff values defining dysfunction of 3% or greater, 1.2 secs or longer, and 9% or greater, respectively.
The correlation coefficients were fair to good between scintigraphy and VFS (r = 0.678, 0.837, and 0.721 for premature pharyngeal entry, pharyngeal transit time, and postswallow pharyngeal stasis, respectively, P < 0.05). The scintigraphy parameters also had good predictive value for the VFS findings, with sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values, and negative predictive values between 70% and 95%. Scintigraphy had good sensitivity in detecting 91% of aspirations and 81% of penetrations and/or aspirations in VFS if one of the three parameters was abnormal; however, the specificities were low (46% and 52% for scintigraphy and VFS, respectively).
The measurements of premature pharyngeal entry, pharyngeal transit time, and postswallow pharyngeal stasis by scintigraphy were correlated with those of VFS. Scintigraphy also had good sensitivity in detecting penetration and/or aspiration in VFS.