Volumetric Evaluation of Upper Airway in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs by recurrent collapse of the upper airway during sleep, resulting in total (apnea) or partial (hypopnea) reduction or airflow and has intimate relation with changes in the upper airway (UA). Cone Beam CT allows the analysis of the UA and its volume by three-dimensional reconstruction.
Purpose: The study aimed to evaluate the volumetric status of the UA in patients with and without obstructive sleep apnea.
Methods: Prospective study with analysis of 33 patients, and the evaluated included 19 males and 14 females. The mean BMI was 30.38 kg/m2 and the average age was 49.35 years. The sample consisted of 14 patients with severe, 7 with moderate, 7 with mild OSA, and 5 normal subjects.
Results: The Spearman correlation index between the volume of the UA and the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was −0.100 with p = 0.580. The Mann-Whitney test performed between categories of OSA and the volume showed p = 0.4630.
Conclusion: The correlation between the volume of the airway and OSA assessed both by stratification as determined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM; mild, moderate, and severe) and also with the AHI was not positive. The volume of the airway is a factor in the pathogenesis of OSA, which should be evaluated together with the forces of airway collapse. The volume of the UA per se did not correlate to the severity of the OSA syndrome registered at German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien [DRKS]): DRKS00005948.