Short- and long-term effects of CPAP on upper airway anatomy and collapsibility in OSAH

Luciano Corda, Stefania Redolfi, Luigi Taranto Montemurro, Giuseppe E. Piana, Enrica Bertella, Claudio Tantucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rationale and aim: In obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea (OSAH) patients, an increase of upper airway (UA) collapsibility has been described together with a reduced UA caliber due to inflammation, edema, and fat accumulation in pharyngeal walls. CPAP is the main treatment of OSAH and acts mechanically by increasing pressure inside UA. The aim of this study was to assess the short- and long-term effects of CPAP on UA caliber and collapsibility in severe OSAH patients. Patients and methods: Ten obese patients (nine male, age 55± 9 yr, BMI 35.1 ± 6.1, Epworth sleepiness scale 12.3 ± 3.6 point, AHI 58.8 ± 27.1) had measurements of oropharingeal junction area (OPJ), mean pharyngeal area (APmean), maximal pharyngeal area (APmax) by acoustic pharyngometry and determination of expired volume in the first 0.5 s after the application at the mouth of -5 cmH2 O negative expiratory pressure (V,NEP0.5) during wakefulness in the supine position under basal conditions (baseline) and after 1 week and 6 months of CPAP treatment. Results: OPJ was 0.74 ± 0.28 cm2 at baseline, 0.90 ± 0.24 cm2 after 1 week and 1.05 ± 0.31 cm2 after 6 months (1 week and 6 months vs baseline p <0.05). APmax was 2.28 ± 0.74 cm2 at baseline, 2.79 ± 0.90 cm2 after 1 week and 2.94 ± 0.33 cm2 after 6 months (1 week and 6 months vs baseline p <0.05). APmean was 1.43 ± 0.46 cm2 at baseline, 1.82 ± 0.45 cm2 after 1 week and 1.94 ± 0.35 cm2 after 6 months (1 week vs baseline p <0.01; 6 months vs baseline; p <0.05). V,NEP0.5 was 290 ± 73 mL at baseline, 291 ± 65 mL after 1 week and 338 ± 67 mL after 6 months (6 months vs baseline p <0.05; 1 week vs 6 months p <0.01). Conclusions: Our data suggest that CPAP treatment might be effective in OSAH patients not only by causing a mechanical splint of UA but also by inducing an improvement on anatomical (early) and functional (later on) aspects of UA that can be observed during wakefulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalSleep and Breathing
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • CPAP
  • OSAH
  • Upper airway caliber
  • Upper airway collapsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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