Reversal of obstructive sleep apnoea by continuous positive airway pressure applied through the nares

Lancet. 1981 Apr 18;1(8225):862-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(81)92140-1.


Five patients with severe obstructive sleep apnoea were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) applied via a comfortable nose mask through the nares. Low levels of pressure (range 4.5-10 cm H2O) completely prevented upper airway occlusion during sleep in each patient and allowed an entire night of uninterrupted sleep. Continuous positive airway pressure applied in this manner provides a pneumatic splint for the nasopharyngeal airway and is a safe, simple treatment for the obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / prevention & control*
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Nose
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / instrumentation
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Respiration
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / prevention & control*
  • Time Factors


  • Hemoglobins
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen