Upper airway imaging in obstructive sleep apnea in adults
- Richard J Schwab, MD
Richard J Schwab, MD
- Professor of Medicine
- University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Upper airway imaging is currently not part of the routine diagnostic evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) because it can neither confirm nor exclude the disorder. Despite this, it has several roles:
●Upper airway imaging provides information about soft tissue and craniofacial anatomy, which has provided important insights into the pathogenesis of OSA [1-7]. Upper airway imaging can also identify anatomic risk factors for sleep apnea such as enlargement of upper airway soft tissue structures , tongue fat , and reduction in the size of craniofacial structures .
●Upper airway imaging can be clinically useful in patients with OSA who are imaged to identify potential sites of upper airway obstruction prior to surgical intervention, although validation of this approach has not been addressed with well-performed clinical trials.
●Upper airway imaging may discover pathologic masses or growths that reduce upper airway size, leading to OSA.
The methods of upper airway imaging and the clinical settings in which upper airway imaging may be helpful are reviewed here. The diagnostic evaluation of OSA is described separately. (See "Clinical presentation and diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in adults".)To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- UPPER AIRWAY ANATOMY
- IMAGING IN PATHOGENESIS AND MANAGEMENT
- IMAGING MODALITIES
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Nasopharyngoscopy and drug-induced sleep endoscopy
- Computed tomography
- Acoustic reflection
- Optical coherence tomography
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
- Maxillomandibular advancement
- Oral appliances
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS