The importance of arousal in obstructive sleep apnea—updates from the American Thoracic Society 2016

AuthorsMalhotra, A.
Jordan, A.
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
PubMed ID4990689
Year of Publication2016
Download 2016_July_Malhotra.pdf (83.2 KB)
AbstractThe mechanism underlying obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is thought to vary across individuals (1). OSA patients are anatomically predisposed to airway collapse but pharyngeal dilator muscle reflexes can help to protect pharyngeal patency (2). Studies suggest that the degree of anatomical compromise in OSA is highly variable, as is the robustness of the upper airway dilator muscle reflexes. The accumulation of respiratory stimuli during sleep can help to activate the upper airway dilator muscles and thus prevent repetitive pharyngeal collapse (3). One factor thought to be important is the arousal threshold i.e., the propensity to wake up from sleep (4).

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