Issue Navigator

Volume 15 No. 09
Earn CME
Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

Quantitative Evaluation of the Function of the Sensory Nerve Fibers of the Palate in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Yunsong An, MD; Yanru Li, MD; Wei Chang, MD; Fei Gao, MD; Xiu Ding; Wen Xu, MD; Demin Han, MD, PhD
Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University; State Key Laboratory of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery of Ministry of Education, Beijing, China

Study Objectives:

To quantitatively evaluate the functional integrity of sensory nerve fibers of the palate in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) using the Neurometer system.


A total of 32 patients with OSA and 18 healthy control patients were included in the study. All participants were selected based on medical history, physical examination, and nocturnal polysomnography (PSG) and divided into two groups. The palatal sensory status of participants was examined with a Neurometer current perception threshold (CPT) system. The system was used to deliver an electrical stimulus at three different frequencies (2,000 Hz, 250 Hz, and 5 Hz) by an investigator blinded to the PSG results.


There were no significant differences in the CPT values of the hard palate between the patients with OSA and control patients at any of the three stimulation frequencies. The differences in the CPT values of the soft palate between these groups failed to show any statistical significance at 250 Hz and 5 Hz. However, the patients with OSA showed significantly higher CPT values of the soft palate at 2,000 Hz than the age-matched healthy control patients (256.56 ± 129.34 versus 372.13 ± 152.06; P = .009).


Our study revealed an impairment of 2,000 Hz-related sensory nerve function of the soft palate among patients with OSA. The CPT test could be a useful tool for the quantitative and selective assessment of the sensory nerve function in patients with OSA. Additional research is required to evaluate the different types of sensory nerve dysfunctions among such patients.

Clinical Trial Registration:

Registry:; Title: The Effects of Nasal Airflow on Upper Airway Dilator Muscles During Sleep; Identifier:

NCT03506178; URL:


An Y, Li Y, Chang W, Gao F, Ding X, Xu W, Han D. Quantitative evaluation of the function of the sensory nerve fibers of the palate in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(9):1347–1353.

Please login to continue reading the full article

Subscribers to JCSM get full access to current and past issues of the JCSM.

Login to JCSM

Not a subscriber?

Join the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and receive a subscription to JCSM with your membership

Subscribe to JCSM:  $125/volume year for individuals or $225/volume year for institutions to access all current articles and archives published in JCSM.

Download this article*:   $20 to access a PDF version of a specific article from the current issue of JCSM.

*Purchase of an article provides permission to access and print the article for personal scholarly, research and educational use. Please note: access to the article is from the computer on which the article is purchased ONLY. Purchase of the article does not permit distribution, electronic or otherwise, of the article without the written permission of the AASM. Further, purchase does not permit the posting of article text on an online forum or website.