Efficacy of a novel oral appliance and the role of posture on nasal resistance in obstructive sleep apnea

J Clin Sleep Med. 2020 Apr 15;16(4):483-492. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8244.


Study objectives: High nasal resistance is associated with oral appliance treatment failure in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A novel oral appliance with a built-in oral airway has been shown to reduce pharyngeal pressure swings during sleep and may be efficacious in those with high nasal resistance. The role of posture and mandibular advancement on nasal resistance in OSA remains unclear. This study aimed to determine (1) the effects of posture and mandibular advancement on nasal resistance in OSA and (2) the efficacy of a new oral appliance device including in patients with high nasal resistance.

Methods: A total of 39 people with OSA (7 females, apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (mean ± standard deviation) = 29 ± 21 events/h) completed split-night polysomnography with and without oral appliance (order randomized). Prior to sleep, participants were instrumented with a nasal mask, pneumotachograph, and a choanal pressure catheter for gold standard nasal resistance quantification seated, supine and lateral (with and without oral appliance, order randomized).

Results: Awake nasal resistance increased from seated, to supine, to lateral posture (median [interquartile range] = 1.8 [1.4, 2.7], 2.7 [1.7, 3.5], 3.4 [1.9, 4.6] cm H₂O/L/s, P < .001). Corresponding measures of nasal resistance did not change with mandibular advancement (2.3 [1.4, 3.5], 2.5 [1.8, 3.6], 3.5 [1.9, 4.8] cm H₂O/L/s, P = .388). The median AHI reduced by 47% with oral appliance therapy (29 ± 21 versus 18 ± 15 events/h, P = .002). Participants with high nasal resistance (> 3 cm H₂O/L/s) had similar reductions in AHI versus those with normal nasal resistance (61 [-8, 82] versus 40 [-5, 62] %, P = .244).

Conclusions: Nasal resistance changes with posture in people with OSA. A novel oral appliance with a built-in oral airway reduces OSA severity in people with OSA, including in those with high nasal resistance.

Clinical trial registration: Registry: ANZCTR; Title: Combination therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea; Identifier: ACTRN12617000492358; URL: https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=372279.

Keywords: lung; mandibular advancement therapy; sleep-disordered breathing; upper airway physiology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mandibular Advancement*
  • Polysomnography
  • Posture
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12617000492358