Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Thorax. 2000 May;55(5):399-404.

Unpredictable results of laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.

Author information

  • 1Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is increasingly offered for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), although there is a lack of objective data to support its indications and efficacy. A study was undertaken to determine the treatment response to LAUP.


Overnight polysomnography was performed before and at least three months after surgery in 44 consecutive patients with symptomatic mild to moderate OSA (apnoea + hypopnoea index (AHI) >10/h). Pharyngeal dimensions were measured by videoendoscopy (n = 11) and disease-specific quality of life, sleepiness and snoring frequency (n = 16) before and after surgery were determined in subgroups of patients. LAUP was performed under local anaesthesia as a one stage resection of the uvula and soft palate by one of two experienced otolaryngologists.


Twelve patients (27%) had a good response (AHI </=10/h after LAUP); four (9%) had a partial response (AHI </=50% of pre-LAUP value); 15 (34%) had a poor response (AHI >50% of pre-LAUP value); and 13 (30%) patients were worse (AHI >100% of pre-LAUP value). The velopharyngeal cross sectional area and anteroposterior diameter increased following LAUP (p<0.05). Quality of life indices improved significantly in all domains and sleepiness decreased. The snoring index did not decrease significantly. No preoperative anthropometric or videoendoscopic measures were predictive of a good response to LAUP. Patients who were worse after LAUP had milder baseline apnoea severity than those in the other response groups.


The treatment response to LAUP is variable and unpredictable, and only a few patients achieve a satisfactory response. There appears to be no relationship between subjective and objective measures of treatment efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk