Although drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) is an accepted method to localize upper airway obstruction, it is not known whether all sites identified by DISE must be treated to achieve sufficient apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) improvement. The aim of this study was to compare outcomes for unilevel (upper) versus multilevel DISE collapse patterns in a patient cohort that only underwent modern palatopharyngoplasty. Our hypothesis was that not all tongue base-level obstructions on DISE must be treated.
Thirty-eight patients with mean AHI of 45 events/h underwent DISE followed by palatopharyngoplasty. Outcome was measured by polysomnography or home sleep apnea testing.
Eleven patients (29%) had multilevel, complete tongue base obstruction and nineteen (50%) had no obstruction. These two groups were similar in age, body mass index, and AHI; the complete group had smaller tonsils and higher tongue position. The postoperative success rate and AHI in the group without tongue base obstruction were not significantly different from those of the complete group (68%; 17.4 ± 11.0 versus 73%; 15.4 ± 20.5, P > .99). Seventeen patients (45%) had circumferential collapse of velum. The postoperative AHI was higher for patients with circumferential collapse (23.6 ± 15.8 from 55.3 ± 22.1 versus 10.5 ± 9.94 from 36.4 ± 16.7, P < .0001), but both groups had clinically and statistically significant AHI reductions.
Patients with multilevel obstruction on DISE, treated with palatopharyngoplasty alone, had similar AHI outcome as those with unilevel obstruction. Multilevel surgery may not be needed in some patients with a multilevel obstruction pattern. Circumferential collapse of velum, however, was associated with a higher residual AHI.
Hsu YS, Jacobowitz O. Does sleep endoscopy staging pattern correlate with outcome of advanced palatopharyngoplasty for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea? J Clin Sleep Med. 2017;13(10):1137–1144.