Anatomical and functional changes in the upper airways of sleep apnea patients due to mandibular repositioning: a large scale study
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
New York, N.Y.
Journal of biomechanics. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 442-449
University of Antwerp
The obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a sleep related breathing disorder. A popular treatment is the use of a mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA) which advances the mandibula during the sleep and decreases the collapsibility of the upper airway. The success rate of such a device is, however, limited and very variable within a population of patients. Previous studies using computational fluid dynamics have shown that there is a decrease in upper airway resistance in patients who improve clinically due to an MRA. In this article, correlations between patient-specific anatomical and functional parameters are studied to examine how MRA induced biomechanical changes will have an impact on the upper airway resistance. Low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans are made from 143 patients suffering from OSAHS. A baseline scan and a scan after mandibular repositioning (MR) are performed in order to study variations in parameters. It is found that MR using a simulation bite is able to induce resistance changes by changing the pharyngeal lumen. The change in minimal cross-sectional area is the best parameter to predict the change in upper airway resistance. Looking at baseline values, the ideal patients for MR induced resistance decrease seem to be women with short airways, high initial resistance and no baseline occlusion.