The objective of this retrospective review is to evaluate the ability of the Murray secretion scale to predict aspiration as determined by fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Patients with dysphagia undergoing a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing study between January 2013 and November 2015 from a single, tertiary care institution were retrospectively reviewed. The Murray secretion scale and penetration aspiration scale on fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing examination were determined. Spearman’s correlation analysis, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and relative risk evaluating the relationship between the Murray secretion scale and aspiration on fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing were calculated. Subgroups of head and neck cancer patients, penetration group, and aspiration group were also analyzed. The mean age of the cases (N = 212) was 62.4 years. Eighty percent were male. There was a strong correlation between Murray secretion scale grade and penetration aspiration scale score (r = 0.785, p < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of a Murray secretion scale grade 2 or higher in predicting aspiration were 74 and 90%, respectively. Individuals with a Murray secretion scale grade of 2 or higher were 13.6 times more likely to aspirate than patients with a lower Murray secretion scale grade. All subgroups showed similar trend. Determination of a Murray secretion scale grade, determined by flexible nasopharyngoscopy, may predict patients at high risk for aspiration. In clinical scenarios where more complete assessments of aspiration risk are immediately impossible or impractical, the Murray secretion scale grade may add valuable information to assist in clinical decision-making in patients with dysphagia.
- Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing
- Murray secretion scale
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