Objective: To evaluate over a 2-year period the serial swallowing function of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) after completing radiotherapy (RT). Design: Prospective longitudinal follow-up. Setting: University hospital. Participants: Patients with NPC (N=76) referred for RT: 53 of them at 1 year after RT, and 23 at 2 years after RT. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Participants completed a questionnaire and had a video-recorded fluoroscopic swallowing study before RT and 1 month, 1 year, and 2 years after RT. Results: The highest incidence of dysphagia symptoms and retropharyngeal soft tissue swelling occurred in the first month after RT and decreased over time. Pharyngeal transit time was prolonged continuously up to 1 year after RT. Epiglottic vallecular stasis and pharyngeal mucosal coating were worst in the first month after RT and stable afterwards. Aspiration was uncommon during the first 2 years after RT. Conclusions: At a 2-year follow-up after RT, patients with NPC had a progressively increasing pharyngeal transit time, although the subjectively identified symptoms of dysphagia decreased after the first month after RT.
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