Evaluation of Respiratory Resistance as a Predictor for Oral Appliance Treatment Response in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Pilot Study

J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 18;10(6):1255. doi: 10.3390/jcm10061255.


The aim of this study was to determine the utility of respiratory resistance as a predictor of oral appliance (OA) response in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Twenty-seven patients with OSA (mean respiratory event index (REI): 17.5 ± 6.5 events/h) were recruited. At baseline, the respiratory resistance (R20) was measured by impulse oscillometry (IOS) with a fitted nasal mask in the supine position, and cephalometric radiographs were obtained to analyze the pharyngeal airway space (SPAS: superior posterior airway space, MAS: middle airway space, IAS: inferior airway space). The R20 and radiographs after the OA treatment were evaluated, and the changes from the baseline were analyzed. A sleep test with OA was carried out using a portable device. The subjects were divided into Responders and Non-responders based on an REI improvement ≥ 50% from the baseline, or REI < 5 after treatment, and the R20 reduction rate between the two groups were compared. The subjects comprised 20 responders and 7 non-responders. The R20 reduction rate with OA in responders was significantly greater than it was in non-responders (14.4 ± 7.9 % versus 2.4 ± 9.8 %, p < 0.05). In responders, SPAS, MAS, and IAS were significantly widened and R20 was significantly decreased with OA (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in non-responders (p > 0.05). A logistic multiple regression analysis showed that the R20 reduction rate was predictive for OA treatment responses (2% incremental odds ratio (OR), 24.5; 95% CI, 21.5-28.0; p = 0.018). This pilot study confirmed that respiratory resistance may have significant clinical utility in predicting OA treatment responses.

Keywords: impulse oscillometry; obstructive sleep apnea; oral appliance; predictor; respiratory resistance.