Quick needle insertion at pharyngeal acupoints for poststroke dysphagia: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Dysphagia following stroke is a major complaint among patients, and effective treatment of post-stroke dysphagia can be difficult. We present a case report describing a new treatment for dysphagia, namely, quick needle insertion at pharyngeal acupoints.

Patient concerns:

A 70-year-old man developed pharyngeal dysphagia after a stroke. Three months after the patient experienced a sudden stroke leading to liquid dysphagia, acupuncture, one of the most important therapies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, was used to treat the patient.

Diagnoses:

A diagnosis of cerebral infarction and bulbar paralysis was made.

Interventions:

Quick needle insertion was performed at five pharyngeal acupoints, once a day, 6 times a week for 6 weeks.

Outcomes:

The patient subsequently showed significant improvement in the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. His performance in the drinking water test reduced to level 1 from level 4. The functional oral intake scale score changed from level 2 to level 7. In the video fluoroscopic swallowing study, no spillage occurred, but aspiration was present. The residue of the contrast agent was reduced.

Lessons:

Quick needle insertion at pharyngeal acupoints can be an efficient way to treat post-stroke dysphagia.

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