Korean J Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  1998 Mar;41(3):328-332.

Roentgenographic Study of the Upper Airway in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, St. Benedict Hospital, Pusan, Korea. chief123@chollian.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Using sophisticated imaging techniques, such as x-ray cephalometry, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, we found obstructive sleep apnea patients to have smaller upper airways than nonapneic individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a simple test, such as routine roentgenographic views of the upper airway, is useful in identifying anatomic narrowing of the airway in patients with sleep apnea.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We carried out a prospective study of a group of 30 patients (28 male and 2 female subjects) referred for evaluation of heavy snoring and possible obstructive sleep apnea. All patients had full nocturnal polysomnography and the lateral views of their airways were used to measure the pharyngeal diameters at three sites along the airway. All measurements were performed with the patients positioned both upright and supine.
RESULTS
We observed that obstructive sleep apnea patients maintained significantly lower the retropalatal distance in the supine position than in the upright position.
CONCLUSION
We concluded that routine roentgenographic measurements of upper airway diameters are useful screening methods for patients suspected of having sleep apnea.

Keyword

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Roentgenography
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