Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome caused by glossoptosis with tongue-base suspension

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Nov;270(11):2915-20. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2536-7. Epub 2013 May 7.


The objective of the study was to evaluate a surgical method to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) caused by suspected glossoptosis. Seventy-eight patients with OSAHS caused by suspected glossoptosis were non-randomly divided into two groups. The 45 patients in the first group received uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and tongue-base suspension (Repose). The 33 patients in the second group received UPPP alone. Follow-up was conducted over 6 months, and polysomnography was used to determine the effects of treatment. Follow-up results revealed that the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and ESS scores of the patients from both groups were substantially decreased compared to the corresponding values before surgery. The lowest oxygen saturation (LaSo2) of both groups was improved, compared to the level before surgery. The degree of improvement in patients treated with UPPP + Repose was significantly greater than that seen in patients treated with UPPP alone. In the UPPP + Repose group, 17 patients were cured, 23 showed marked improvement, and 5 did not improve. In the UPPP alone group, 1 patient was cured, 16 showed marked improvement, and 16 did not improve. The marked improvement rates of the two groups were 88.9 and 51.5 %, respectively, a significant difference. Patients who show glossopharyngeal obstruction during sleep, and have normal glossopharyngeal airway morphology when awake, should be suspected to have glossoptosis. Repose surgery is an effective operation for the patients with OSAHS suspected glossoptosis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oropharynx / surgery*
  • Palate / surgery*
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnostic imaging
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tongue / surgery*
  • Tongue Diseases / complications
  • Tongue Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Tongue Diseases / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uvula / surgery*