Study objectives: The aim of the current study was to test the hypothesis that there is a temporal correlation between reflux episodes and respiratory events in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux and obstructive sleep apnea.
Methods: Adults with clinically diagnosed laryngopharyngeal reflux confirmed by two validated instruments (reflux symptom index ≥ 13 and reflux finding score ≥ 7) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) underwent full polysomnography with concomitant and synchronized multichannel intraluminal impedance-pH esophageal monitoring. The apnea-hypopnea and arousal indexes that occurred 15, 30, and 45 minutes before and after each reflux episode were recorded and compared to full-night apnea and hypopnea and arousal index.
Results: We studied 27 patients (14 males, age 51.7 ± 9.1 years, body mass index 32.4 ± 4.2 kg/m²) with laryngopharyngeal reflux (reflux symptom index 16 ± 2 and reflux finding score 12 ± 3) and OSA (apnea-hypopnea index = 32.3 ± 28.4 events/h). We evaluated 102 reflux episodes. Almost half of the reflux episodes occurred while awake (43.1%) and only five reflux episodes (4.9%) occurred during an obstructive respiratory event. The apnea and hypopnea and arousal indexes 15, 30, and 45 minutes before and after reflux episodes were lower than full-night apnea and hypopnea and arousal indexes, respectively.
Conclusions: Among patients with well-established laryngopharyngeal reflux and OSA, there is no temporal association between reflux and obstructive respiratory events. Even though the data comprised a small sample size, it seems that a more complex mechanism is involved with these two highly prevalent diseases.
Keywords: gastroesophageal reflux; laryngopharyngeal reflux; pH impedance; sleep apnea syndrome.
© 2019 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
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