The Relationship Between Submental Surface Electromyography and Hyo-Laryngeal Kinematic Measures of Mendelsohn Maneuver Duration
Purpose: The Mendelsohn maneuver (MM) is a commonly prescribed technique that is taught to individuals with dysphagia to improve swallowing ability. Due to cost and safety concerns associated with videofluoroscopy (VFS) use, submental surface electromyography (ssEMG) is commonly used in place of VFS to train the MM in clinical and research settings. However it is unknown whether ssEMG accurately reflects the prolonged hyo-laryngeal movements required for execution of the MM. The primary goal of this study was to examine the relationship among ssEMG duration, duration of laryngeal vestibule closure, and duration of maximum hyoid elevation during MM performance. Method: Participants included healthy adults and patients with dysphagia due to stroke. All performed the MM during synchronous ssEMG and VFS recording. Results: Significant correlations between ssEMG duration and VFS measures of hyolaryngeal kinematic durations during MM performance ranged from very weak to moderate. None of the correlations in the group of stroke patients reached statistical significance. Conclusions: Clinicians and researchers should consider that the MM involves novel hyo-laryngeal kinematics that may be only moderately represented with ssEMG. Thus, there is a risk that these target therapeutic movements are not consistently being trained.