DOI: 10.3390/v15122363 ISSN: 1999-4915

Clinical and Acoustic Alterations of Swallowing in Children Exposed to Zika Virus during Pregnancy in a Cohort in Amazonas, Brazil: A Case Series Study

Cristina de Souza Rodrigues, Raillon Keven Santos Souza, Cosmo Vieira Rocha Neto, Rodrigo Haruo Otani, Daniel de Medeiros Batista, Ana Karla Nelson de Oliveira Maia, Kleber Pinheiro de Oliveira Filho, Thais Dourado de Andrade, Emmilyn de Andrade Almeida, Luiz Henrique Gonçalves Maciel, Lucíola de Fátima Albuquerque Almeida Peixoto Castro, Marília Rosa Abtibol-Bernardino, Djane Clarys Baia-da-Silva, Silvana Gomes Benzecry, Marcia da Costa Castilho, Flor Ernestina Martínez-Espinosa, Maria das Graças Costa Alecrim, Rosane Sampaio Santos, Camila Botto-Menezes
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is a swallowing disorder that involves difficulty in safely passing the food bolus from the oral cavity to the stomach. OD is a common problem in children with congenital Zika virus syndrome (CZS). In this case series, we describe the clinical and acoustic alterations of swallowing in children exposed to the Zika virus during pregnancy in a cohort from Amazonas, Brazil. From July 2019 to January 2020, 22 children were evaluated, 6 with microcephaly and 16 without microcephaly. The mean age among the participants was 35 months (±4.6 months). All children with microcephaly had alterations in oral motricity, mainly in the lips and cheeks. Other alterations were in vocal quality, hard palate, and soft palate. Half of the children with microcephaly showed changes in cervical auscultation during breast milk swallowing. In children without microcephaly, the most frequently observed alteration was in lip motricity, but alterations in auscultation during the swallowing of breast milk were not observed. Regarding swallowing food of a liquid and pasty consistency, the most frequent alterations were incomplete verbal closure, increased oral transit time, inadequacy in capturing the spoon, anterior labial leakage, and increased oral transit time. Although these events are more frequent in microcephalic children, they can also be seen in non-microcephalic children, which points to the need for an indistinct evaluation of children exposed in utero to ZIKV.

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