Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2004 Jun;11(1):5-9.

Upper airway studies in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder characterized by recurrent cessation of breathing due to complete or partial upper airway occlusion during sleep. The incompetent tone of palatal, pharngeal, and glossal muscles which fail to maintain airway patency during sleep causes narrowing of the airway dimension and increased resistance of breathing. The identification of the sites of upper airway obstruction in patients with OSA is important in understanding the pathogenesis and deciding the treatment modality of snoring and/or OSA. Various upper airway imaging modalities have been used to assess upper airway size and precise localization of the sites of upper airway obstruction during sleep. Dynamic imaging modalities enabled assessment of dimensional changes in the upper airway during respiration and sleep. This article focused on reviews of various upper airway imaging modalities, especially dynamic upper airway imaging studies providing important information on the pathogenesis of OSA.


Obstructive sleep apnea; Diagnostic imaging
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