Safety and clinical impact of FEES – results of the FEES-registry
Published on Dec 1, 2019
· DOI :10.1186/s42466-019-0021-5
At present, the flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) is one of the most commonly used methods for the objective assessment of swallowing. This multicenter trial prospectively collected data on the safety of FEES and also assessed the impact of this procedure on clinical dysphagia management. Patients were recruited in 23 hospitals in Germany and Switzerland from September 2014 to May 2017. Patient characteristics, professional affiliation of the FEES examiners (physicians or speech and language therapists), side-effects and cardiorespiratory parameters, severity of dysphagia and clinical consequences of FEES were documented. 2401 patients, mean age 69.8 (14.6) years, 42.3% women, were included in the FEES-registry. The most common main diagnosis was stroke (61%), followed by Parkinson’s disease (6.5%). FEES was well tolerated by patients. Complications were reported in 2% of examinations, were all self-limited and resolved without sequelae and showed no correlation to the endoscopist’s previous experience. In more than 50% of investigations FEES led to changes of feeding strategies, in the majority of cases an upgrade of oral diet was possible. This study confirmed that FEES, even when performed by less experienced clinicians is a safe and well tolerated procedure and significantly impacts on the patients’ clinical course. Implementation of a FEES-service in different clinical settings may improve dysphagia care. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03037762, registered January 31st 2017.