Cephalometric abnormalities in non-obese and obese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.

Dept of Internal Medicine, Fujita Health University, School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 6.36). 02/1999; 13(2):403-10. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.99.13240399
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this work was to comprehensively evaluate the cephalometric features in Japanese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and to elucidate the relationship between cephalometric variables and severity of apnoea. Forty-eight cephalometric variables were measured in 37 healthy males and 114 male OSA patients, who were classed into 54 non-obese (body mass index (BMI) <27 kg x m(-2), apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI)=25.3+/-16.1 events x h(-1)) and 60 obese (BMI > or = 27 kg x m(-2), AHI=45.6+/-28.0 events h(-1)) groups. Diagnostic polysomnography was carried out in all of the OSA patients and in 19 of the normal controls. The non-obese OSA patients showed several cephalometric defects compared with their BMI-matched normal controls: 1) decreased facial A-P distance at cranial base, maxilla and mandible levels and decreased bony pharynx width; 2) enlarged tongue and inferior shift of the tongue volume; 3) enlarged soft palate; 4) inferiorly positioned hyoid bone; and 5) decreased upper airway width at four different levels. More extensive and severe soft tissue abnormalities with a few defects in craniofacial bony structures were found in the obese OSA group. For the non-obese OSA group, the stepwise regression model on AHI was significant with two bony structure variables as determinants: anterior cranial base length (S-N) and mandibular length (Me-Go). Although the regression model retained only linear distance between anterior vertebra and hyoid bone (H-VL) as an explainable determinant for AHI in the obese OSA group, H-VL was significantly correlated with soft tissue measurements such as overall tongue area (Ton), inferior tongue area (Ton2) and pharyngeal airway length (PNS-V). In conclusion, Japanese obstructive sleep apnoea patients have a series of cephalometric abnormalities similar to those described in Caucasian patients, and that the aetiology of obstructive sleep apnoea in obese patients may be different from that in non-obese patients. In obese patients, upper airway soft tissue enlargement may play a more important role in the development of obstructive sleep apnoea, whereas in non-obese patients, bony structure discrepancies may be the dominant contributing factors for obstructive sleep apnoea.

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