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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2004 Nov;10(6):461-7.

Upper airway resistance syndrome--one decade later.

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Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic, Stanford, California 94305, USA.



The term upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) was coined to describe a group of patients who did not meet the criteria for diagnosis of obstructive apnea-hypopnea syndrome and thus were left untreated. Today, most of the patients with UARS remain undiagnosed and are left untreated.


Today, the clinical picture of UARS is better defined. We have learned that patients usually seek treatment with a somatic functional syndrome rather than sleep-disordered breathing or even a disorder of excessive daytime sleepiness. Therefore, most of these patients are seen by psychiatrists. In addition, recent technologic advances have allowed a better recognition of the problem. We have learned that obstructive apnea-hypopnea syndrome is associated with a local neurologic impairment that is responsible for the occurrence of the hypopnea and apneas. In contrast, patients with UARS have an intact local neurologic system and have the ability to respond to minor changes in upper airway dimension and resistance to airflow. New treatment options including internal jaw distraction osteogenesis are used and are promising for treatment of patients with UARS.


The clinical presentation of patients with UARS is similar to the presentation of subjects with functional somatic syndrome. To diagnose UARS, nocturnal polysomnography should include additional measurement channels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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