To determine whether therapeutic positive airway pressure (PAP) level predicts response to hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) for obstructive sleep apnea using the coprimary outcomes of apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and 4% oxygen desaturation index.
Combined cohort study from two US sleep otolaryngology training programs. Subjects were adults with AHI > 15 events/h who underwent HGNS. Eligible subjects had diagnostic preoperative sleep studies, full-night efficacy postoperative studies and therapeutic PAP levels available for analysis. Low and high PAP groups were compared using the t test for continuous variables and chi-square test for categorical variables.
Fifty-six patients met all inclusion criteria. On average, patients were male, Caucasian, middle-aged, and overweight. Thirteen patients were in the low PAP group (< 8 cm H2O) and 43 patients in the high PAP group (≥ 8 cm H2O). Although both groups experienced improvement of polysomnographic measures with HGNS, the low PAP group achieved a significantly larger mean AHI reduction (36.7 ± 22.7 versus 18.4 ± 23.4, P = .02). Additionally, the low PAP group had a greater response rate (defined as AHI < 20 events/h and > 50% reduction of AHI) than the high PAP group (92% versus 44%, P < .01).
Therapeutic PAP level may aid in the discernment of candidacy for HGNS, with a strong positive predictive value for PAP levels < 8 cm H2O. A larger prospective study is needed to confirm these findings.
Lee CH, Seay EG, Walters BK, Scalzitti NJ, Dedhia RC. Therapeutic positive airway pressure level predicts response to hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(8):1165–1172.