Current diagnostic trends in sleep disordered breathing


Over the past two decades, various methods of sophisticated diagnostics of the upper airway have been tested in patients with sleep disordered breathing (SDB). In this context, endoscopic techniques and pharyngeal pressure recordings are of special interest for the otorhinolaryngologist.Whereas the basic otorhinolaryngological examination is able to detect anatomical pathologies which need to and can be corrected, the Müller-Manoeuvre seems to help exclude patients from uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.To a large extent, videoendoscopy during natural sleep has been replaced by videoendoscopy under sedation. Despite good methodological preparation and impressive presentability of the obstructions, there is not sufficent evidence to demonstrate that videoendoscopy under sedation improves the success rate of surgery in SDB. However, in assessing the impact of the epiglottis on upper airway obstructions in the individual patient, videoendoscopy is the only existing option.Multi-channel pressure recordings permit analysing the entire sleep period and are well tolerated. They can be used to determine the Apnea-Hypopnea-Index as well as to quantify obstructive events in the upper and lower pharyngeal segment. On the other hand, obstructions of the tongue base cannot be distinguished from obstructions related to the epiglottis. According to the data available so far, the benefit of sophisticated diagnostics of the upper airway still has to be judged with caution. Therefore, the promising approaches of both videoendoscopy under sedation and multi-channel pressure recordings deserve further intensive research. According to the personal estimation of the author, they will nevertheless become valuable tools for otorhinolaryngologists in the near future, thus complementing the basic ENT-examination and improving the treatment of patients.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Maurer2006CurrentDT, title={Current diagnostic trends in sleep disordered breathing}, author={Joachim Theodor Maurer}, booktitle={GMS current topics in otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery}, year={2006} }