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Comparison of Positional Therapy to CPAP in Patients with Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Abstract

While treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy has been shown to be clinically effective, compliance is poor, and as a result, alternative therapies often need to be considered. With the recognition that many patients with OSA have positional OSA, where the majority of sleep-disordered breathing events occur in the supine position, prospective studies comparing positional therapy to CPAP therapy in these patients have been performed. The results of these short-term studies, both in regard to sleep-disordered breathing and sleep quality, suggest that positional therapy as a primary treatment can be as effective as CPAP therapy in patients with positional OSA and in those patients who are intolerant to CPAP therapy. More long-term trials that prospectively and quantitatively compare effectiveness and compliance between positional therapy and CPAP therapy appear warranted.

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... Positional OSA occurs frequently in children with studies reporting rates of 19% overall and 58% in children with obesity [11,12]. Specialized pillows, clothing, belts, and vibratory devices have shown good results in a subset of adult patients who have positional sleep apnea [11][12][13], but outcomes data in the pediatric population are lacking. ...
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... As such, a substantial portion of the SAC would have been successfully treated, given the longterm CPAP compliance of 60%-70%. 46 For example, CPAP lowers SA severity, particularly in adherent patients, 47 and improves functional outcomes and consequent survival. 48 Gharib et al evaluated changes in transcriptional signatures in circulating leukocytes before and after treatment of SA with CPAP; the gene networks with the most significant changes in expression were those involved in neoplastic transformation and tumor growth (eg, BRCA1, MYC). ...
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Positive airway pressure (PAP) is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and chronic hypoventilation. This document provides a systematic analysis and grading of peer-reviewed, published clinical studies pertaining to application of PAP treatment in adults. The paper is divided into 5 sections, each addressing a series of questions. The first section deals with whether efficacy and/or effectiveness have been demonstrated for continuous PAP (CPAP) treatment based on a variety of parameters and the level of OSA severity. Next, CPAP titration conducted with full, attended polysomnography in a sleep laboratory is compared with titration done under various other conditions. The third section investigates what can be expected regarding adherence and compliance with CPAP treatment as measured by subjective and objective methods and what factors may influence these parameters. Side effects and the influence of other specific factors on efficacy, effectiveness and safety of CPAP therapy are evaluated in the fourth section. Finally, the use of bilevel PAP therapy is reviewed for both patients with OSA and those with other selected nocturnal breathing disorders. Each section also contains a brief summary and suggestions for future research.
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Despite the high efficacy of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to reverse upper airway obstruction in sleep apnea, treatment effectiveness is limited by variable adherence to prescribed therapy. When adherence is defined as greater than 4 hours of nightly use, 46 to 83% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea have been reported to be nonadherent to treatment. Evidence suggests that use of CPAP for longer than 6 hours decreases sleepiness, improves daily functioning, and restores memory to normal levels. The decision to embrace CPAP occurs during the first few days of treatment. Although many strategies in patient interface with CPAP or machine modality are marketed to improve CPAP usage, there are few data to support this. No single factor has been consistently identified as predictive of adherence. Patient perception of symptoms and improvement in sleepiness and daily functioning may be more important in determining patterns of use than physiologic aspects of disease severity. Emerging data suggest that various behavioral interventions may be effective in improving CPAP adherence.
Article
Context Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and sleep apnea have been linked to hypertension in previous studies, but most of these studies used surrogate information to define SDB (eg, snoring) and were based on small clinic populations, or both.Objective To assess the association between SDB and hypertension in a large cohort of middle-aged and older persons.Design and Setting Cross-sectional analyses of participants in the Sleep Heart Health Study, a community-based multicenter study conducted between November 1995 and January 1998.Participants A total of 6132 subjects recruited from ongoing population-based studies (aged ≥40 years; 52.8% female).Main Outcome Measures Apnea-hypopnea index (AHI, the average number of apneas plus hypopneas per hour of sleep, with apnea defined as a cessation of airflow and hypopnea defined as a ≥30% reduction in airflow or thoracoabdominal excursion both of which are accompanied by a ≥4% drop in oxyhemoglobin saturation), obtained by unattended home polysomnography. Other measures include arousal index; percentage of sleep time below 90% oxygen saturation; history of snoring; and presence of hypertension, defined as resting blood pressure of at least 140/90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive medication.Results Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure and prevalence of hypertension increased significantly with increasing SDB measures, although some of this association was explained by body mass index (BMI). After adjusting for demographics and anthropometric variables (including BMI, neck circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio), as well as for alcohol intake and smoking, the odds ratio for hypertension, comparing the highest category of AHI (≥30 per hour) with the lowest category (<1.5 per hour), was 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.83; P for trend=.005). The corresponding estimate comparing the highest and lowest categories of percentage of sleep time below 90% oxygen saturation (≥12% vs <0.05%) was 1.46 (95% CI, 1.12-1.88; P for trend <.001). In stratified analyses, associations of hypertension with either measure of SDB were seen in both sexes, older and younger ages, all ethnic groups, and among normal-weight and overweight individuals. Weaker and nonsignificant associations were observed for the arousal index or self-reported history of habitual snoring.Conclusion Our findings from the largest cross-sectional study to date indicate that SDB is associated with systemic hypertension in middle-aged and older individuals of different sexes and ethnic backgrounds. Figures in this Article Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and the related clinical syndrome, sleep apnea, have been associated with hypertension in clinical reports since the early 1980s.1- 4 Earlier studies of this association used self-reported history of "snoring" as a surrogate for the presence of sleep apnea. Although some of these studies showed an independent association between snoring and hypertension,5- 7 others found that this relationship may be explained by confounding effects of age, sex, or obesity.8- 11 Two recent studies have demonstrated that self-reported history of snoring is associated with increased incidence of self-reported hypertension in middle-aged men12 and women.13 Other studies have used polysomnography (PSG), a more objective measure of SDB. Most of these studies,14- 19 but not all,20- 21 found an association between sleep apnea and hypertension, independent of age, sex, body weight, and other potential confounders. With the exception of the reports from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study of middle-aged employed persons,15,18 most previous studies were based on a small number of patients in clinical settings.22 Given the strong association between SDB and obesity and adiposity measures,23 some researchers have cautioned that even in studies controlling for body mass index (BMI), there is a potential for residual confounding, since fat distribution may be the strongest confounding component of obesity.24 This study is based on baseline cross-sectional data from the Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS), a multicenter study of the cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnea in participants recruited from ongoing population-based cohort studies.25 Our results represent the largest cross-sectional study to date of the association between SDB and hypertension in apparently healthy middle-aged and older adults. We assessed SDB in the subjects' homes using a portable PSG monitor. Its association with blood pressure and hypertension is examined while controlling for the potential confounding effects of demographic variables, body weight, and measures of body fat distribution.
Article
Background: Approximately half of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are positional (i.e., the majority of their breathing abnormalities during sleep appear in the supine posture). Little information exists as to whether avoiding the supine posture during sleep (positional therapy) is a valuable form of therapy for these patients. Aim: To assess the use of positional therapy (by the tennis ball technique [TBT]) during a 6 month period in 78 consecutive positional OSA patients. Methods: Demographic, polysomnographic, and self-reported questionnaire data on the use of the TBT were analyzed. Results: Of the 50 patients who returned the questionnaire, 19 (38%) (group A) said they were still using the TBT, and 12 (24%) (group B) said they used it initially and stopped using it within a few months but were still avoiding the supine position during sleep. Nineteen patients (38%) (group C) stopped using the TBT within a few months but did not learn how to avoid the sleep supine posture. Patients still using the TBT showed a significant improvement in their self-reported sleep quality (P < .005) and daytime alertness (P < .046) and a decrease in snoring loudness (P < .001). Patients of groups A and B were older than patients who did not comply with this therapy (P < .001). The main reason for patients stopping the use of the TBT in group C was that using it was uncomfortable. Conclusions: Positional therapy appears to be a valuable form of therapy mainly for some older aged positional OSA patients.
Article
Positional therapy that prevents patients from sleeping supine has been used for many years to manage positional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, patients' usage at home and the long term efficacy of this therapy have never been objectively assessed. Sixteen patients with positional OSA who refused or could not tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) were enrolled after a test night study (T0) to test the efficacy of the positional therapy device. The patients who had a successful test night were instructed to use the device every night for three months. Nightly usage was monitored by an actigraphic recorder placed inside the positional device. A follow-up night study (T3) was performed after three months of positional therapy. Patients used the device on average 73.7 ± 29.3% (mean ± SD) of the nights for 8.0 ± 2.0 h/night. 10/16 patients used the device more than 80% of the nights. Compared to the baseline (diagnostic) night, mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) decreased from 26.7 ± 17.5 to 6.0 ± 3.4 with the positional device (p<0.0001) during T0 night. Oxygen desaturation (3%) index also fell from 18.4 ± 11.1 to 7.1 ± 5.7 (p = 0.001). Time spent supine fell from 42.8 ± 26.2% to 5.8 ± 7.2% (p < 0.0001). At three months (T3), the benefits persisted with no difference in AHI (p = 0.58) or in time spent supine (p = 0.98) compared to T0 night. The Epworth sleepiness scale showed a significant decrease from 9.4 ± 4.5 to 6.6 ± 4.7 (p = 0.02) after three months. Selected patients with positional OSA can be effectively treated by a positional therapy with an objective compliance of 73.7% of the nights and a persistent efficacy after three months.
Article
We hypothesized that positional therapy would be equivalent to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) at normalizing the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) in patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Thirty-eight patients (25 men, 49 +/- 12 years of age, body mass index 31 +/- 5 kg/m2) with positional OSA (nonsupine AHI <5 events/h) identified on a baseline polysomnogram were studied. Patients were randomly assigned to a night with a positional device (PD) and a night on CPAP (10 +/- 3 cm H2O). Positional therapy was equivalent to CPAP at normalizing the AHI to less than 5 events per hour (92% and 97%, respectively [p = 0.16]). The AHI decreased from a median of 11 events per hour (interquartile range 9-15, range 6-26) to 2 (1-4, 0-8) and 0 events per hour (0-2, 0-7) with the PD and CPAP, respectively; the difference between treatments was significant (p < 0.001). The percentage of total sleep time in the supine position decreased from 40% (23%-67%, 7%-82%) to 0% (0%-0%, 0%-27%) with the PD (p < 0.001) but was unchanged with CPAP (51% [36%-69%, 0%-100%]). The lowest SaO2 increased with the PD and CPAP therapy, from 85% (83%-89%, 76%-93%) to 89% (86%-9%1, 78%-95%) and 89% (87%-91%, 81%-95%), respectively (p < 0.001). The total sleep time was unchanged with the PD, but decreased with CPAP, from 338 (303-374, 159-449) minutes to 334 (287-366, 194-397) and 319 (266-343, 170-386) minutes, respectively (p = 0.02). Sleep efficiency, spontaneous arousal index, and sleep architecture were unchanged with both therapies. Positional therapy is equivalent to CPAP at normalizing the AHI in patients with positional OSA, with similar effects on sleep quality and nocturnal oxygenation.
Article
To evaluate whether socioeconomic status (SES) has a role in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients' decision to accept continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. Cross-sectional study; patients were recruited between March 2007 and December 2007. University-affiliated sleep laboratory. 162 consecutive newly diagnosed (polysomnographically) adult OSAS patients who required CPAP underwent attendant titration and a 2-week adaptation period. 40% (n = 65) of patients who required CPAP therapy accepted this treatment. Patients accepting CPAP were older, had higher apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and higher income level, and were more likely to sleep in a separate room than patients declining CPAP treatment. More patients who accepted treatment also reported receiving positive information about CPAP treatment from family or friends. Multiple logistic regression (after adjusting for age, body mass index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and AHI) revealed that CPAP purchase is determined by: each increased income level category (OR, 95% CI) (2.4; 1.2-4.6), age + 1 year (1.07; 1.01-1.1), AHI ( > or = 35 vs. < 35 events/hr) (4.2, 1.4-12.0), family and/or friends with positive experience of CPAP (2.9, 1.1-7.5), and partner sleeps separately (4.3, 1.4-13.3). In addition to the already known determinants of CPAP acceptance, patients with low SES are less receptive to CPAP treatment than groups with higher SES. CPAP support and patient education programs should be better tailored for low SES people in order to increase patient treatment initiation and adherence.
Article
Avoidance of sleep in the supine position is recommended in the management of position-dependent OSA hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS). Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of a thoracic anti-supine band (TASB), designed to mimic the so-called 'tennis ball technique', compared with nasal CPAP (nCPAP). Twenty adults with mild to moderately severe position-dependent OSAHS (mean AHI +/- SD) 22.7 +/- 12.0/H (range 6.0-51.2); AHI supine, 59.6 +/- 27.5/H, were included in a randomized cross-over trial. Portable sleep studies were undertaken at baseline and after 1 month on each treatment. A successful treatment outcome was defined as AHI <or= 10/H. Mean AHI was 12.0 +/- 14.5/H with the TASB and 4.9 +/- 3.9/H with nCPAP (P = 0.02; 95% confidence interval for the difference: -13.1 to -1.0). With the TASB, treatment 'success' was achieved in 13/18 subjects, whereas 'success' was achieved in 16/18 subjects using nCPAP (P = 0.004). In the two subjects with baseline AHI < 10/H, AHI remained below 10 for both therapies. The TASB successfully reduced time spent in the supine position. Mean percentage supine sleep time was 6.3 +/- 5.9% with the TASB, and 35.4 +/- 34.1% with nCPAP (P < 0.001). No significant differences in sleep efficiency or subjective responses were observed between treatments. Control of body position during sleep using an anti-supine device mimicking the so-called 'tennis ball technique' provides benefit in the management of position-dependent OSAHS in subjects who meet strict inclusion criteria. The overall improvement is, however, less than for nCPAP.
Article
Sixty male patients all with apnea plus hypopnea indices (A + HI) above 12.5, who met a criterion of positionality by having two or more times the rate of these events during supine sleep in comparison to their lateral sleep rate, were randomly assigned to one of four treatments for 8 weeks. All were restudied for two nights, one with and one without treatment devices. On treatment more than half the patients in each group reduced their A + HI to within normal limits and a third remained WNL without the use of devices. Half of those trained to sleep in the lateral position with the help of an alarm maintained this learning without the alarm as did half of those who were encouraged to learn this sleep posture on their own. There is an additive effect for the positional patient from wearing a tongue retaining device (TRD) if they continue to sleep in the supine position. Factors associated with successful treatment include overall severity, severity in the lateral position, weight, weight change, nasal patency and motivation to help their condition.
During sleep, mild reduction in inspiratory airflow is associated with snoring, whereas obstructive hypopneas and apneas are associated with more marked reductions in airflow. We determined whether the degree of inspiratory airflow reduction was associated with differences in the collapsibility of the upper airway during sleep. Upper airway collapsibility was defined by the critical pressure (Pcrit) derived from the relationship between maximal inspiratory airflow and nasal pressure. In 10 asymptomatic snorers, six patients with obstructive hypopneas, and 10 patients with obstructive apneas, during nonrapid eye movement sleep, Pcrit ranged from -6.5 +/- 2.7 cm H2O to -1.6 +/- 1.4 and 2.5 +/- 1.5 cm H2O, respectively (mean +/- SD, p less than 0.001). Moreover, higher levels of Pcrit were associated with lower levels of maximal inspiratory airflow during tidal breathing during sleep (p less than 0.005). We conclude that differences in upper airway collapsibility distinguish among groups of normal subjects who snore and patients with periodic hypopneas and apneas. Moreover, the findings suggest that small differences in collapsibility (Pcrit) along a continuum are associated with reduced airflow and altered changes in pattern of breathing.
Article
The occurrence of upper airway obstruction during sleep and with anesthesia suggests the possibility that upper airway size might be compromised by the gravitational effects of the supine position. We used an acoustic reflection technique to image airway geometry and made 180 estimates of effective cross-sectional area as a function of distance along the airway in 10 healthy volunteers while they were supine and also while they were seated upright. We calculated z-scores along the airway and found that pharyngeal cross-sectional area was smaller in the supine than in the upright position in 9 of the 10 subjects. For all subjects, pharyngeal cross-sectional area was 23 +/- 8% smaller in the supine than in the upright position (P less than or equal to 0.05), whereas glottic and tracheal areas were not significantly altered. Because changing from the upright to the supine position causes a decrease in functional residual capacity (FRC), six of these subjects were placed in an Emerson cuirass, which was evacuated producing a positive transrespiratory pressure so as to restore end-expiratory lung volume to that seen before the position change. In the supine posture an increase in end-expiratory lung volume did not change the cross-sectional area at any point along the airway. We conclude that pharyngeal cross-sectional area decreases as a result of a change from the upright to the supine position and that the mechanism of this change is independent of the change in FRC.
Article
Four patients who were evaluated for hypersomnia-sleep apnea syndrome were found in all-night sleep studies to have obstructive or mixed apneas related to their sleeping positions. All four were available for comprehensive follow-up and were subsequently restudied while avoiding the supine position. Supine, prone, and lateral decubitus apnea indices were calculated for each patient for each night. The supine sleeping position was associated with significantly more apneas than the non-supine positions. Keeping these patients off their backs when they slept was effective treatment. Additionally, when results of surgical or pharmacologic treatments of apnea are evaluated, positional apnea indices should be considered.
Article
Thirty male patients evaluated sequentially for sleep apnea syndrome by all-night clinical polysomnography were compared for apnea plus hypopnea index (A + HI) during the time in the side versus time in the back sleep posture. For 24 subjects of this sample, who occupied both major body positions during the evaluation night, the apnea index was found to be twice as high during the time spent sleeping on their backs as it was when they slept in the side position. This difference is reliable and inversely related to obesity. Five patients meeting diagnostic criteria for sleep apnea on an all-night basis fell within normal limits while in the side sleep position. This suggests sleep position adjustment may be a viable treatment for some nonobese sleep apnea patients.
Article
Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) improves sleepiness and prognosis in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Our objective was to document NCPAP compliance and the percentage of time that the effective pressure shown to eliminate 95% of the obstructive apneas and hypopneas was maintained. We built and covertly installed an elapsed timer and mask pressure transducer recorder in NCPAP units of 47 OSA patients. Subjects were seen at 2- to 8-wk intervals over 6 months. Group mean age was 51 yr; 38 males, with mean body mass index of 42; all complained of daytime sleepiness. Initial full night polysomnography demonstrated a mean apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 58 +/- 2.6 SEM (range, 10 to 115). Nine subjects discontinued therapy within 3 months for various reasons. In the remaining subjects (n = 38) the actual mean nightly hours of use was 4.7 which represents 68% of the stated total sleep time (compliance). However, effective mean hours of use was 4.3 which represents 91% of the time that prescribed effective pressure was maintained at the mask. The AHI did not correlate with compliance, but did correlate with effective use (R = 0.27048, p = 0.0006). Subjective initial complaints of daytime sleepiness correlated with compliance only during the first visit (R = 0.38590, p = 0.05). No predictors for compliance were found.
Article
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the treatment of choice for the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. Compliance with this relatively obtrusive therapy has not been well studied. Usage of CPAP was investigated in 54 patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (median 36 (range 7-129) apnoeas + hypopnoeas/hour slept) over the first 1-3 months after starting CPAP therapy. In all cases CPAP usage was monitored by hidden time clocks that indicated for how long the machines were switched on--that is, the CPAP run time. In 32 patients the time at which the CPAP mask pressure was at the therapeutic level of CPAP pressure set for that patient--that is, the mask time--was also monitored. In all patients objective daytime sleepiness was assessed by multiple sleep latency before and after CPAP therapy. The mean (SE) nightly CPAP run time was 4.7 (0.4) hours. There was no correlation between run time and severity of the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome as assessed by apnoea + hypopnoea frequency or multiple sleep latency, and no correlation between CPAP usage and improvement in multiple sleep latency. Thirty two patients in whom mask time was recorded had therapeutic CPAP pressures for 89% (3%) of their CPAP run times. Patients who experienced side effects from CPAP used their CPAP machines significantly less than those who did not. Patients with sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome used CPAP for less than five hours/night on average with no correlation between severity of sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome and CPAP usage. Patients who complained of side effects used their CPAP therapy less. It is recommended that, as a minimum, CPAP run time should be regularly recorded in all patients receiving CPAP therapy.
Article
Limited data have suggested that sleep-disordered breathing, a condition of repeated episodes of apnea and hypopnea during sleep, is prevalent among adults. Data from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, a longitudinal study of the natural history of cardiopulmonary disorders of sleep, were used to estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed sleep-disordered breathing among adults and address its importance to the public health. A random sample of 602 employed men and women 30 to 60 years old were studied by overnight polysomnography to determine the frequency of episodes of apnea and hypopnea per hour of sleep (the apnea-hypopnea score). We measured the age- and sex-specific prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in this group using three cutoff points for the apnea-hypopnea score (> or = 5, > or = 10, and > or = 15); we used logistic regression to investigate risk factors. The estimated prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing, defined as an apnea-hypopnea score of 5 or higher, was 9 percent for women and 24 percent for men. We estimated that 2 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the middle-aged work force meet the minimal diagnostic criteria for the sleep apnea syndrome (an apnea-hypopnea score of 5 or higher and daytime hypersomnolence). Male sex and obesity were strongly associated with the presence of sleep-disordered breathing. Habitual snorers, both men and women, tended to have a higher prevalence of apnea-hypopnea scores of 15 or higher. The prevalence of undiagnosed sleep-disordered breathing is high among men and is much higher than previously suspected among women. Undiagnosed sleep-disordered breathing is associated with daytime hypersomnolence.
Obstruction of the upper airway during sleep (OSAS) is widely treated by having patients self-administer nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). To obtain objective evidence of the patterns of CPAP use, information was gathered from two urban sites on 35 OSAS patients who were prescribed CPAP for a total of 3,743 days. Patients were given CPAP machines that contained a microprocessor and monitor that measured actual pressure at the mask for every minute of each 24-h day for an average of 106 days per patient. They were not aware of the monitor inside the CPAP machines. Monitor output was compared with patients' diagnostic status, pretreatment clinical and demographic characteristics, and follow-up self-reports of CPAP use, problems, side effects, and aspects of daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Patients attempted to use CPAP an average of 66 +/- 37% of the days monitored. When CPAP was used, the mean duration of use was 4.88 +/- 1.97 h. However, patients' reports of the duration of CPAP use overestimated actual use by 69 +/- 110 min (p < 0.002). Both frequency and duration of CPAP use in the first month reliably predicted use in the third month (p < 0.0001). Although the majority (60%) of patients claimed to use CPAP nightly, only 16 of 35 (46%) met criteria for regular use, defined by at least 4 h of CPAP administered on 70% of the days monitored. Relative to less regular users, these 16 patients had more years of education (p = 0.05), and were more likely to work in professional occupations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
The structural properties of the upper airway determine its collapsibility during periods of muscle hypotonia. Both rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and increases in nasal pressure (PN) produce hypotonia, which persists even after nasal pressure is abruptly reduced. To determine the factors that influence the collapsibility of the hypotonic airway, the critical pressure (Pcrit) and nasal resistance upstream to the site of pharyngeal collapse (RN) were measured in the first three breaths after abrupt reductions in PN during non-REM and REM sleep. PN was reduced abruptly from 15.2+/-3.2 cm H2O (mean +/- SD) for three breaths in 19 apneic patients. Upper-airway pressure-flow relationships were analyzed to determine Pcrit for each breath in non-REM and REM sleep. We found that Pcrit rose (collapsibility increased, p < 0.001) and RN fell (p = 0.02) between the first and third breath after the decrease in PN, whereas no difference in Pcrit was detected between sleep stages. In six patients, genioglossus-muscle electromyograms (EMGs) were recorded. Peak phasic activity rose between the first and third breath (p = 0.03), but tonic and peak phasic EMG activity fell in REM as compared with non-REM sleep (p < 0.001). We conclude that the hypotonic upper airway becomes most collapsible by the third breath after an abrupt decrease in PN, regardless of sleep stage and despite an increase in genioglossus-muscle activity. Our findings suggest that predominantly mechanical rather than neuromuscular factors modulate the properties of the pharynx after abrupt reductions in nasal pressure.
Article
The aim of this study was to compare the relative efficacy of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and positional treatment in the management of positional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), using objective outcome measures. A prospective, randomized, single blind crossover comparison of CPAP and positional treatment for 2 weeks each. A university teaching hospital. Thirteen patients with positional OSA, aged (mean+/-SD) 51+/-9 years, with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 17+/-8. (1) Daily Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores; (2) overnight polysomnography, an objective assessment of sleep quality and AHI; (3) maintenance of wakefulness testing; (4) psychometric test battery; (5) mood scales; (6) quality-of-life questionnaires; and (7) individual patient's treatment preference. Positional treatment was highly effective in reducing time spent supine (median, 0; range, 0 to 32 min). The AHI was lower (mean difference, 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2 to 10.2; p = 0.007), and the minimum oxygen saturation was higher (4%; 95% CI, 1% to 8%; p = 0.02) on CPAP as compared with positional treatment. There was no significant difference, however, in sleep architecture, Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores, maintenance of wakefulness testing sleep latency, psychometric test performance, mood scales, or quality-of-life measures. Positional treatment and CPAP have similar efficacy in the treatment of patients with positional OSA.
Article
To assess the benefit of NCPAP in OSA and its relation to the degree of use of NCPAP. Randomised parallel controlled one month study comparing NCPAP set at therapeutic levels of pressure, with NCPAP set at sub-therapeutic pressure levels. Teaching hospital sleep clinic and laboratory 101 men referred for investigation of possible OSA who were sleepy (Epworth Sleepiness Score > or = 10) and had > or = 10/hr of >4% dips in SaO2 due to OSA. Baseline and one month measures of Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS), Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT), and the Energy/Vitality dimension of the SF-36 (health status questionnaire). Correlation of these outcome measures with NCPAP usage. All outcome measures improved significantly more in the therapeutic, compared to the sub-therapeutic, group (e.g. ESS 15.0 to 13.0 on sub-therapeutic, and 15.5 to 7.0 on therapeutic, p<1x10(-6)). The degree of improvement correlated significantly with NCPAP usage in the therapeutic group (ESS, r=-0.60; MWT, r=0.55) but insignificantly in the sub-therapeutic group (ESS, r=-0.15; MWT, r=-0.06). Sub-therapeutic NCPAP did not improve OSA severity and acted as a control. NCPAP is clearly effective in relieving the sleepiness of OSA compared to a control group identical in every way, except for receiving a nasal pressure inadequate to control the OSA.
Article
Previous studies have shown that the level of flow through the upper airway in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is determined by the critical closing pressure (Pcrit) and the upstream resistance (RN). We developed a standardized protocol for delineating quasisteady-state pressure-flow relationships for the upper airway from which these variables could be derived. In addition, we investigated the effect of body position and sleep stage on these variables by determining Pcrit and RN, and their confidence intervals (CIs), for each condition. Pressure-flow relationships were constructed in the supine and lateral recumbent positions (nonrapid eye movement [NREM] sleep, n = 10) and in the supine position (rapid eye movement [REM] sleep, n = 5). University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium. Ten obese patients (body mass index, 32.0+/-5.6 kg/m(2)) with severe OSA (respiratory disturbance index, 63.0+/-14.6 events/h) were studied. Pressure-flow relationships were constructed from breaths obtained during a series of step decreases in nasal pressure (34.1+/-6.5 runs over 3.6+/-1.2 h) in NREM sleep and during 7.8+/-2.2 runs over 0.8+/-0.6 h in REM sleep. Maximal inspiratory airflow reached a steady state in the third through fifth breaths following a decrease in nasal pressure. Analysis of pressure-flow relationships derived from these breaths showed that Pcrit fell from 1.8 (95% CI, -0.1 to 2.7) cm H(2)O in the supine position to -1.1 cm H(2)O (95% CI, -1.8 to 0.4 cm H(2)O; p = 0.009) in the lateral recumbent position, whereas RN did not change significantly. In contrast, no significant effect of sleep stage was found on either Pcrit or RN. Our methods for delineating upper airway pressure-flow relationships during sleep allow for multiple determinations of Pcrit within a single night from which small yet significant differences can be discerned between study conditions.
Article
Disordered breathing during sleep is associated with acute, unfavorable effects on cardiovascular physiology, but few studies have examined its postulated association with cardiovascular disease (CVD). We examined the cross-sectional association between sleep- disordered breathing and self-reported CVD in 6,424 free-living individuals who underwent overnight, unattended polysomnography at home. Sleep-disordered breathing was quantified by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI)-the average number of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep. Mild to moderate disordered breathing during sleep was highly prevalent in the sample (median AHI: 4.4; interquartile range: 1.3 to 11.0). A total of 1,023 participants (16%) reported at least one manifestation of CVD (myocardial infarction, angina, coronary revascularization procedure, heart failure, or stroke). The multivariable-adjusted relative odds (95% CI) of prevalent CVD for the second, third, and fourth quartiles of the AHI (versus the first) were 0.98 (0.77-1.24), 1.28 (1.02-1.61), and 1.42 (1.13-1.78), respectively. Sleep-disordered breathing was associated more strongly with self-reported heart failure and stroke than with self-reported coronary heart disease: the relative odds (95% CI) of heart failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease (upper versus lower AHI quartile) were 2.38 (1.22-4.62), 1.58 (1.02- 2.46), and 1.27 (0.99-1.62), respectively. These findings are compatible with modest to moderate effects of sleep-disordered breathing on heterogeneous manifestations of CVD within a range of AHI values that are considered normal or only mildly elevated.
Article
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been increasingly linked to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Inflammatory processes associated with OSA may contribute to cardiovascular morbidity in these patients. We tested the hypothesis that OSA patients have increased plasma C-reactive protein (CRP). We studied 22 patients (18 males and 4 females) with newly diagnosed OSA, who were free of other diseases, had never been treated for OSA, and were taking no medications. We compared CRP measurements in these patients to measurements obtained in 20 control subjects (15 males and 5 females) who were matched for age and body mass index, and in whom occult OSA was excluded. Plasma CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with OSA than in controls (median [range] 0.33 [0.09 to 2.73] versus 0.09 [0.02 to 0.9] mg/dL, P<0.0003). In multivariate analysis, CRP levels were independently associated with OSA severity (F=6.8, P=0.032). OSA is associated with elevated levels of CRP, a marker of inflammation and of cardiovascular risk. The severity of OSA is proportional to the CRP level.
Article
The relationship between sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) and posture during sleep has been noted and the beneficial effect of an optimal posture on sleep apnea has been empirically indicated. We investigated this effect in a group of subjects that included obese patients and found that the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) may be normalized in the lateral position, even among patients severely affected with apnea. Among those with intermediate or lower AHI values sleeping in a lateral position markedly improved the symptoms, with AHI even approaching the normal range in many patients. A tendency was noted for AHI to rise regardless of posture but in proportion to the increase in body mass index (BMI). In other words, the improvement due to changes in posture became increasingly insignificant with increase in BMI.
Article
Considerable progress has been made over the last several decades in our understanding of the pathophysiology of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, in its various forms, is generally the product of an unstable ventilatory control system (high loop gain) with increased controller gain (high hypercapnic responsiveness) generally being the cause. High plant gain can contribute under certain circumstances (hypercapnic patients). On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea can develop as the result of a variety of physiologic characteristics. The combinations of these may vary considerably between patients. Most obstructive apnea patients have an anatomically small upper airway with augmented pharyngeal dilator muscle activation maintaining airway patency awake, but not asleep. However, individual variability in several phenotypic characteristics may ultimately determine who develops apnea and how severe the apnea will be. These include: (1) upper airway anatomy, (2) the ability of upper airway dilator muscles to respond to rising intrapharyngeal negative pressure and increasing Co(2) during sleep, (3) arousal threshold in response to respiratory stimulation, and (4) loop gain (ventilatory control instability). As a result, patients may respond to different therapeutic approaches based on the predominant abnormality leading to the sleep-disordered breathing.
Article
Impaired endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation is a prognostic marker of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. We evaluated endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and endothelium-independent nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced dilation of the brachial artery with Doppler ultrasound in 28 men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 12 men without OSA. Subjects with OSA (apnea-hypopnea index; mean +/- SD, 46.0 +/- 14.5) had lower FMD compared with subjects without OSA (5.3 +/- 1.7% vs. 8.3 +/- 1.0%, p < 0.001), and major determinants of FMD were the apnea-hypopnea index and age. There was no significant difference in NTG-induced dilation. Subjects with OSA were randomized to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) or observation for 4 weeks. Subjects on nCPAP had significant increase in FMD, whereas those on observation had no change (4.4% vs. -0.8%, difference of 5.2%, p < 0.001). Neither group showed significant change in NTG-induced vasodilation. Eight subjects who used nCPAP for over 3 months were reassessed on withdrawing treatment for 1 week. On nCPAP withdrawal, FMD became lower than during treatment (p = 0.02) and were similar to baseline values. Our findings demonstrated that men with moderate/severe OSA have endothelial dysfunction and treatment with nCPAP could reverse the dysfunction; the effect, however, was dependent on ongoing use.
A biomechanical view of the upper airway The respiratory function of the upper airway
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Comparison of positional therapy to CPAP in patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea
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Upper airway collapsibility in snorers and in patients with obstructive hypopnea and apnea
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Poor long-term compliance with the tennis ball technique for treating positional obstructive sleep apnea
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Prospective study of the association between sleep-disordered breathing and hypertension
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