Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2005; 26(1): 13-24
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-864198
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndromes

Nancy A. Collop1
  • 1Johns Hopkins University, DOM, Baltimore, Maryland
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 February 2005 (online)


Complete or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep has different effects on the human body ranging from noisy breathing (snoring) to significant cardiovascular sequelae as seen in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring is very common in the adult population and has been associated with morbidity in epidemiological studies. A variety of treatments may be used for primary snoring (snoring without symptoms) but none are universally successful. The upper airway resistance syndrome is thought to occur when incomplete obstruction of the upper airway results in frequent disruptions in sleep. Whether it is a true “syndrome” or just one end of the continuum of OSA is unclear. Obstructive sleep apnea causes not only sleep disruption but oxygen desaturation. It has been associated with numerous cardiovascular sequelae, including hypertension (systemic and pulmonary), arrhythmias, and stroke. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the current treatment of choice, with lesser alternatives including oral appliances, surgery, and weight loss. Further study on outcomes is required to determine how aggressively to treat these syndromes.


Nancy A CollopM.D. 

Johns Hopkins University, DOM

1830 East Monument St., Rm. 555

Baltimore, MD 21205