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October 1988

Relief of Sleep Apnea by Revision of the Adult Upper Airway: A Review of Clinical Experience

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Regestein, Johnson, and Murawski) and Surgery (Dr Strome), Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics (Dr Ferber), Children's Hospital, and the Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(10):1109-1113. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860220043021

• Surgical revision of the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea has repeatedly improved subjective more than objective laboratory outcome measures. To examine this disparity, we obtained subjective sleepiness questionnaire scores, Continuous Performance test, and polysomnography (PSG) in 40 patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (mean apnea index, 33.9; mean minimum oxygen saturation during sleep, 75.4%). Continuous Performance test confirmed abnormal daytime sleepiness and correlated with minimum oxygen saturation and number of transitions between stages. Postoperatively, questionnaire scores fell a mean of 62%, indicating a marked improvement in subjective sleepiness. Changes in questionnaire score correlated with changes in minimum oxygen saturation. Mean PSG indexes showed no change. Individual patients without PSG improvement reported long-term improvement in daytime functioning, as confirmed by family members. These results suggest that measures in addition to PSG, including patient subjective response, would more fully characterize the outcome of revision of the upper airway for sleep apnea.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1988;114:1109-1113)