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Sleep Med. 2008 Jan;9(2):121-8. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Differences in clinical features of upper airway resistance syndrome, primary snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

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Somnolab - Dortmund Sleep Disorders Center, Hörder Burgstr. 18, 44263 Dortmund, Germany.



The clinical features of patients with upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) have previously been compared to patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS). No data regarding differences between patients with primary snoring (PS) or patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea without daytime sleepiness (OSAH) are available. We conducted a study to investigate clinical features of UARS, comparing them to those in patients with PS, OSAH, and OSAHS.


Retrospective chart analysis of 157 patients with PS, 424 patients with UARS, 562 patients with OSAH, and 1610 patients with OSAHS seen in two sleep disorders clinics between 1996 and 2006. All patients had a diagnostic polysomnography (PSG) and a comprehensive clinical history taken by board-certified sleep specialists.


PS and UARS patients were significantly younger, less overweight and had lower weight gain during the past 5years. The female-to-male ratio was highest in the UARS group. UARS patients had significantly less stage non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) 1 and NREM 2 and significantly more NREM 3 and NREM 4 sleep than OSAH and OSAHS patients. Arousal indices between PS/UARS and OSAH/OSAHS patients were significantly lower, with no significant difference within these diagnostic categories. Patients with UARS presented the highest degree of subjective impairment.


UARS patients share some clinical features of patients with OSAHS and PS, although these two groups differ in their presentation of clinical sleepiness. Patients with UARS were most impaired in terms of their daily functioning and perception of sleep quality. This finding could not be corroborated by objective measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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