While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) continues to be the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea, the cumbersome machines are often not well tolerated by patients. Because of this, less obtrusive oral appliances that thrust the jaw forward during sleep are becoming more popular. Mandibular protrusion enlarges the pharynx and stabilizes the upper airway. A new study in CHEST® demonstrates that mandibular movements (MM) monitoring can be used to assess the efficacy of these oral appliances.
MM during sleep are accurate reporters for increased respiratory effort and micro arousals found in people with sleep apnea. In this sleep study, 56 patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were fitted with a custom mandibular advancement splint (OAT) and had their midsagittal mandibular movement tracked. Patients were evaluated at the end of the titration procedure. During the titration procedure different degrees of advancement are trialed up and down to find the single best amount to control apnea events for that patient.
“The novelty of the study related to tracking sleep MM in order to assess oral appliance therapy effectiveness,” explained lead investigator Jean-Benoit Martinot, MD, Sleep Laboratory, CHU UCL Namur Site Sainte-Elisabeth, Namur, Belgium. “Our study suggested for the first time that MM monitoring represents a powerful tool for assessing the efficacy of OAT treatment.”
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