We undertook this 12-month retrospective cohort study, of 186 teaching hospital inpatients, to determine how tolerance of differing diet textures after a stroke predicts recovery from dysphagia. Outcome measures were insertion of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube and/or ability to tolerate a normal diet 28 days after the stroke. Likelihood ratios for needing a PEG were highest for intolerance of pureed food. People who tolerated grade 1 fluids (300–600 cP) or thinner, or who tolerated a modified soft diet or better, 7 days after the stroke did not need a PEG. Half (13/26) the people who could not tolerate grade 3 thickened fluids (10,000–12,000 cP) and 52% (13/25) of people who could not tolerate a puree diet 14 days after the stroke needed a PEG. No one who was intolerant of grade 2 thickened fluids (4000–7000 cP) 7 or 14 days after the stroke could tolerate a normal diet and fluids by day 28. If people were tolerating grade 3 thickened fluids at day 7, the proportion tolerating a normal diet at day 28 was 36%. We present similar data for tolerance of differing fluids and diets at each of the measured time points. We suggest a PEG should be considered in people unable to tolerate grade 3 thickened fluids or a puree diet 14 days after their stroke. However, even in these groups, half will recover sufficiently to manage oral feeding.
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Wilkinson, T., Thomas, K., MacGregor, S. et al. Tolerance of Early Diet Textures as Indicators of Recovery from Dysphagia After Stroke . Dysphagia 17, 227–232 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-002-0060-9