Laser Partial Epiglottidectomy as a Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Laryngomalacia

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Rambam Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology (Impact Factor: 1.09). 01/2001; 109(12 Pt 1):1140-5. DOI: 10.1177/000348940010901211
Source: PubMed


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and laryngomalacia are two different entities. Occasionally, they may have a common etiology: an elongated, flaccid, and lax epiglottis that is displaced posteriorly during inspiration causing airway obstruction. Twenty-seven adults with a diagnosis of airway obstruction or OSA of various degrees, and 12 infants with severe stridor associated with frequent apneas due to laryngomalacia, who on fiberoptic examination were found to have a posteriorly displaced epiglottis, underwent partial epiglottidectomy with a CO2 laser. Their postoperative recovery was uneventful. Polysomnographic studies performed after operation in the adult patients demonstrated statistically significant improvement in 85% of the patients. In all the cases of laryngomalacia, stridor ceased permanently after surgery, together with complete cessation of the apneic episodes. This study demonstrates that similar pathophysiological mechanisms may be involved in both laryngomalacia and in OSA. Effective and relatively safe treatment can be achieved by partial resection of the epiglottis with a microlaryngoscopic CO2 laser.

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    • "5)) [82], or they are modifications of the classification according to Pringle and Croft comprising the epiglottis [87], [90]. The classification according to Catalfumo [51] which describes the position of the epiglottis during the Müller-Manoevre was transferred to sleep videoendoscopy by Golz et al. [93]. All the remaining authors do not classify their findings but enumerate the various mechanisms and anatomical sites of snoring and obstruction [81], [83], [85], [88]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, various methods of sophisticated diagnostics of the upper airway have been tested in patients with sleep disordered breathing (SDB). In this context, endoscopic techniques and pharyngeal pressure recordings are of special interest for the otorhinolaryngologist. Whereas the basic otorhinolaryngological examination is able to detect anatomical pathologies which need to and can be corrected, the Müller-Manoeuvre seems to help exclude patients from uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. To a large extent, videoendoscopy during natural sleep has been replaced by videoendoscopy under sedation. Despite good methodological preparation and impressive presentability of the obstructions, there is not sufficent evidence to demonstrate that videoendoscopy under sedation improves the success rate of surgery in SDB. However, in assessing the impact of the epiglottis on upper airway obstructions in the individual patient, videoendoscopy is the only existing option. Multi-channel pressure recordings permit analysing the entire sleep period and are well tolerated. They can be used to determine the Apnea-Hypopnea-Index as well as to quantify obstructive events in the upper and lower pharyngeal segment. On the other hand, obstructions of the tongue base cannot be distinguished from obstructions related to the epiglottis. According to the data available so far, the benefit of sophisticated diagnostics of the upper airway still has to be judged with caution. Therefore, the promising approaches of both videoendoscopy under sedation and multi-channel pressure recordings deserve further intensive research. According to the personal estimation of the author, they will nevertheless become valuable tools for otorhinolaryngologists in the near future, thus complementing the basic ENT-examination and improving the treatment of patients.
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    ABSTRACT: Obstructive sleep apnea is rarely caused by laryngomalacia in adult patients. To our knowledge, laryngomalacia secondary to osteogenesis imperfecta inducing obstructive sleep apnea has not been reported. We present an adult osteogenesis imperfecta patient with obstructive sleep apnea. Oral examination demonstrated an extremely long epiglottis in the oral cavity. Fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy revealed that the epiglottis and redundant mucosa of the arytenoids were drawn into the laryngeal inlet during inspiration. Supraglottoplasty with intraoral and laryngoscopic approach was carried out and resulted in marked decreases in snoring, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness. In this report, we describe a unique laryngeal manifestation inducing obstructive sleep apnea in an adult with brittle bone disease. The anomaly of laryngeal structure can be corrected by surgical intervention with good response in the sleep-disordered breathing.
    American Journal of Otolaryngology 11/2002; 23(6):378-81. DOI:10.1053/ajot.2002.128037 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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