Send to

Choose Destination
Sleep. 2000 Jun 15;23 Suppl 4:S182-6.

Radiofrequency (pacing and thermic effects) in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.

Author information

Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center, CA 94305, USA.


Radiofrequency, whether it is used for pacing or for its thermal liberation properties, has been investigated as a treatment for sleep-disordered breathing. Diaphragmatic pacing has a long history. The problems associated with pacing, which are related to patient selection, equipment failure, disturbances at the electrode/nerve interface, neuromuscular function failure, muscle fatigue, and the physiological consequences of stimulation, will have to be resolved with XIIth nerve stimulation. Radiofrequency thermal ablation has been applied on the tongue of an animal model. In man, turbinates, soft palate tissue and the base of tongue have been treated. These feasibility studies have demonstrated that obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and upper airway resistance syndrome can be completely controlled using radiofrequency thermal ablation in some subjects. These results can be obtained without complications related to speech, taste or swallowing. The treatment can be administered as an outpatient procedure, but many applications are needed, and treatment may span 6 months. Too high a level of radiofrequency will cause pain or otherwise avoidable complications. The determination of which patients will benefit most from these procedures will require further multi-center, placebo-controlled studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center