Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1: A Systematic Review

Walmari Pilz*, Laura W. J. Baijens, Bernd Kremer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A systematic review was conducted to investigate the pathophysiology of and diagnostic procedures for oropharyngeal dysphagia in myotonic dystrophy (MD). The electronic databases Embase, PubMed, and The Cochrane Library were used. The search was limited to English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese publications. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Two independent reviewers assessed the methodological quality of the included articles. Swallowing assessment tools, the corresponding protocols, the studies' outcome measurements, and main findings are summarized and presented. The body of literature on pathophysiology of swallowing in dysphagic patients with MD type 1 remains scant. The included studies are heterogeneous with respect to design and outcome measures and hence are not directly comparable. More importantly, most studies had methodological problems. These are discussed in detail and recommendations for further research on diagnostic examinations for swallowing disorders in patients with MD type 1 are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Dysphagia
  • Myotonic dystrophy

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