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Otorinolaringologia 2014 June;64(2):57-64


lingua: Inglese

Sleep-disordered breathing: evaluation of dynamic patterns of the upper airways in obese subjects

Lorusso F. 1, Dispenza F. 2, Saraniti C. 1, Sireci F. 1, Modica D. M. 1, Gallina S. 1

1 Otorhinolaryngology Clinic, Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences (BioNeC), University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 2 Department of Otolaryngology, “San Giovanni di Dio” Hospital, Agrigento, Italy


AIM: Aim of the present study was verifying the static and dynamic anatomic alteration of the upper airways in obese subjects, the correlation between these findings and the sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), verifying the different incidence from android to gynoid obesity in the determination of such disease.
METHODS: This was a prospective study on obese patients suffering by SDB who consecutively referred to our center. Complete head and neck examination, Müller maneuver under optic nasopharyngoscopic view, and recording of several body measures were performed. Presence of daytime hyper-somnolence was evaluated whit the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
RESULTS: The study included 19 female and 19 male patients; 94.7% of male subjects used to snore versus only 63.1% of the females. We recorded the presence of hypersomnia in the 64.3% of the male versus of the 21.5% females. There were significant differences between sexes in body measures. We found a significant difference in oropharyngeal narrowing in the two groups (P=0.05), with a greater degree of collapse oropharyngeal in the male population. We found a significant relationship between Müller Maneuver and neck circumference, in women to oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal levels, in men to nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal levels. No significant correlations were found between Müller Maneuver and age or Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
CONCLUSION: An almost constant presence of anatomical and functional abnormalities of the upper airway was found in this severe obese population, predominantly of the oropharyngeal region, more collapsible and at a greater extent in men than in women.

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