Study objectives: To determine the therapeutic efficacy and viability of a novel oral interface for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) compared with conventional nasal interfaces.
Design: A randomized single-blind crossover study.
Setting: Hospital-based sleep laboratory.
Patients or participants: 21 CPAP-naïve patients with obstructive sleep apnea (baseline apnea-hypopnea index, 85 +/- 36) INTERVENTIONS: Nasal CPAP and oral CPAP MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Patients were each treated for two 4-week periods using nasal CPAP and oral CPAP. The CPAP titrations were undertaken at the start of each treatment arm. Outcome measures were recorded at baseline and at the end of each treatment arm. These included polysomnography variables, CPAP compliance, subjective sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea symptom ratings, and adverse effects. There were no significant differences between oral and nasal interfaces for the on-CPAP frequency of apneas and hypopneas (mean difference, nasal-oral [95%CI] = -4.6[-10.1-1.0]/h; P = 0.06) or arousals (-3.0 [-7.8-1.8]/h; P = 0.23). There were also no statistically significant differences between interfaces for scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (-0.7 [-3.1-1.7]; P = 0.20), obstructive sleep apnea symptoms (-7.7 [-17.7-2.4]; P = 0.052), CPAP compliance (0.3 [-0.5-1.1] h/night; P = 0.50), CPAP pressure (0.05 [-0.66-0.76] cmH20; P = 0.73), CPAP side effects scores (-2.0 [-5.3-1.4]; P = 0.23), or mask preference (P = 0.407). In addition, both nasal and oral interfaces significantly improved polysomnographic variables, Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores, obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, and CPAP compliance from baseline (all P < 0.05).
Conclusions: This preliminary study indicates that oral CPAP has similar efficacy to traditionally applied nasal CPAP in treating obstructive sleep apnea. Additional large studies are required to determine the range of clinical situations where oral CPAP is indicated.