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Sleep Med Rev. 1999 Mar;3(1):5-21.

Upper airway resistance syndrome.

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1
Servei de Pneumologia i Al.lèrgia Respiratòria, Departament de Medicina, Hospital Clínic, Facultat de Medicina de la Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. jcanal@medicina.ub.es

Abstract

This article reviews the clinical picture, diagnosis and management of the upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). Presently, there is not enough data on key points like the frequency of UARS and the morbidity associated with this condition. Furthermore, the existence of LIARS as an independent sleep disorder and its relation with snoring and obstructive events is in debate. The diagnosis of UARS is still a controversial issue. The technical limitations of the classic approach to monitor airflow with thermistors and inductance plethysmography, as well as the lack of a precise definition of hypopnea, may have led to a misinterpretation of UARS as an independent diagnosis from the sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome. The diagnosis of this syndrome can be missed using a conventional polysomnographic setting unless appropriate techniques are applied. The use of an esophageal balloon to monitor inspiratory effort is currently the gold standard. However, other sensitive methods such as the use of a pneumotachograph and, more recently, nasal cannula/pressure transducer systems or on-line monitoring of respiratory impedance with the forced oscillation technique may provide other interesting possibilities. Recognition and characterization of this subgroup of patients within sleep breathing disorders is important because they are symptomatic and may benefit from treatment. Management options to treat UARS comprise all those currently available for sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (SAHS). However, the subset of patients classically identified as LIARS that exhibit skeletal craneo-facial abnormalities might possibly obtain further benefit from maxillofacial surgery.

PMID:
15310487

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