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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Jul;270(7):2141-7. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2370-y. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Evaluation of upper airway obstruction in snoring patients using digital video stroboscopy.

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  • 1ENT Department, Queens Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, Essex, RM7 0AG, UK. bhikkot@aol.com


Stroboscopy is routinely used in voice disorder clinics but its use in studying the mechanisms of upper airway obstruction in patients who snore has not yet been described. This study combines the use of stroboscopy during sleep nasendoscopy to evaluate the oscillations and vibrations observed during snoring in slow motion. In addition, we utilised the multi-dimensional voice programme simultaneously to study some of the acoustic parameters of snoring whilst visualising the dynamics of the upper airway. Forty-five patients with primary snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnoea were recruited at two different centres and underwent sleep nasendoscopy. The simultaneous use of acoustic analysis was included to ascertain whether sound analysis alone could replace the need for using the sedation endoscopy in these patients. The use of a stroboscopic light source indeed enhanced the visualisation during the procedure and some subtle aspects of the mechanisms of upper airway obstruction, such as vibrations of the posterior pharyngeal wall and mucosal waves were identified. Most of the patients in this study exhibited multilevel obstruction and thus acoustic analysis alone would not be sufficient in accurately locating the site of upper airway obstruction in snorers.

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