Journal Article

The use of videofluoroscopy in the assessment of the pharyngeal airway in obstructive sleep apnoea

Ama Johal, Zahra Sheriteh, Joanna Battagel and Claire Marshall

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 33, issue 2, pages 212-219
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjq058
The use of videofluoroscopy in the assessment of the pharyngeal airway in obstructive sleep apnoea

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This prospective cohort study evaluated the use of videofluoroscopy in assessing changes in both antero-posterior (A-P) and transverse pharyngeal airway dimensions in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Forty patients [32 males and 8 females; mean age of 49.3 (SD = 10.79) years] with confirmed OSA, referred for mandibular advancement appliance (MAA) therapy were recruited. Patients received a customized Herbst MAA, adjusted for maximum comfortable protrusion. A standard lateral cephalogram, supine A-P, and transverse videofluoroscopic investigations were performed. Repeat supine videofluoroscopic investigations were undertaken with the MAA in situ. Parametric tests were used to evaluate the study hypotheses as the data were normally distributed. A paired t-test was employed to determine both the impact of posture on the airway using upright cephalometry and supine videofluoroscopy and the effect of MAA insertion on A-P and transverse pharyngeal airway dimensions.

Following a change in posture from upright to supine, highly statistically significant (P < 0.001) changes were observed for all lateral pharyngeal dimensions. Statistically significant increases in minimum lingual airway (P < 0.001) and maximum transverse pharyngeal airway (P < 0.001) were found following MAA insertion. A reduction in soft palate area (P = 0.029) and pharyngeal height (P < 0.001) was also noted.

Videofluoroscopy offers a useful dynamic assessment of the pharyngeal airway in both the A-P and transverse planes in patients with OSA.

Journal Article.  4897 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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