Percutaneous biphasic electrical stimulation for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Jan;55(1):181-7. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2007.897836.


In this paper, we study the effect of stimulation of the genioglossus with percutaneous biphasic electrical pulses on patients with the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The experiment was conducted in 22 patients clinically diagnosed with OSAS. The patients were monitored with polysomnography (PSG) in the trial. When the sleep apnea was detected, the genioglossus was stimulated with percutaneous biphasic electrical pulses that were automatically regulated by a microcontroller to achieve the optimal effect. The percutaneous biphasic electrical stimulation caused contraction of the genioglossus, forward movement of the tongue, and relieving of the glossopharyngeal airway obstruction. The SaO2, apnea time, hypoxemia time, and change of respiratory disturbance index (RDI) were compared in patients with treatment and without treatment. With percutaneous biphasic electrical stimulation of the genioglossus, the OSAS patients showed apnea time decreased (P < 0.01), RDI decreased (P < 0.01), and SaO2 increased (P < 0.01). No tissue injury or major discomfort was noticed during the trial. The stimulation of genioglossus with percutaneous biphasic electrical current pulse is an effective method for treating OSAS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Female
  • Glottis / innervation*
  • Glottis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome