ABSTRACT

Objectives

To investigate the associations between nasal airway volume and the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults.

Materials and Methods

The medical records of adult patients who visited the sleep clinic at University Hospital between June 2013 and April 2017 and underwent overnight polysomnography for the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea were reviewed retrospectively. Using computed tomography, the volumes of the nasal airways and maxillary sinuses were measured, and associations with the presence and severity of OSA were analyzed while controlling for the effects of possible confounders such as lateral cephalometric variables, maxillary widths, tongue/hyoid position, and soft palate dimensions.

Results

Comparison between normal subjects and patients with OSA revealed that the latter had decreased ratios of maxillary sinus volume to whole nasal airway volume (P = .029) than normal subjects. OSA severity was greater in those with inferior positions of the hyoid (P = .010), in older patients (P = .011), and in those with high body mass index (P = .001). The volume of the total nasal airway or maxillary sinuses were not associated with OSA severity.

Conclusions

A decreased ratio of maxillary sinus volume to whole nasal airway volume is associated with adult OSA. However, OSA severity is not associated with either maxillary sinus volume or whole nasal airway volume.

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Author notes

* 

The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

a

Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Korea University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

b

Student, Department of Dentistry, Korea University Graduate School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

c

Professor, Department of Dentistry, Korea University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

d

Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Korea University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.