Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Upper Airway Soft Tissue Structures in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Background/Aim: We aimed to compare the size of upper airway soft tissue structures between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients and normal controls by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Methods: Sixty-eight subjects available with neck MRI and polysomnography (PSG) were retrospectively included in the study. The subjects were divided into two groups according to apnea hypopnea indexes (AHI). The subjects with AHI more than 5 were considered to be OSA and the subjects with AHI less than 5 were considered to be controls. In all cases volume of the tongue, cross-sectional area of the uvula and upper airway volume were measured with MRI.
Results: No significant difference revealed between controls and OSA patients regarding demographic data, BMI, tongue volume, soft palate volume, upper airway volume, arousal index and basal oxygen saturation (P > 0.05). Tongue volume was found to be significantly greater in males compared to females in both study and control group (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: In this study there was no significant difference between OSA patients and controls regarding volume of upper airway and soft tissue structures. However significant difference revealed in comparison of upper airway sizes in opposite genders. Thus, gender may play an important role in determining upper airway soft tissue sizes.
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