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Eur Respir J. 2010 May;35(5):1098-105. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00121608. Epub 2009 Oct 19.

Optimal positive airway pressure predicts oral appliance response to sleep apnoea.

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Division of Dental Sleep Medicine, Japan Somnology Center, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Patients with less severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are usually prescribed oral appliances and/or smaller optimal nasal continuous positive airway pressure (P(nCPAP)) in nCPAP therapy. We hypothesised that OSA patients with greater P(nCPAP) would not respond favourably to oral appliances. Oral appliances were inserted in nCPAP users after washing-out the nCPAP effect. Follow-up polysomnography was undertaken with the adjusted oral appliance in place. The predictability of P(nCPAP) was evaluated with receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The median baseline apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI) was reduced with the oral appliance from 36 to 12 events.h(-1) in 35 patients. When responders were defined as patients showing a follow-up AHI of <5 events.h(-1) with >50% reduction in baseline AHI, the area under the ROC curve for P(nCPAP) was 0.76. The best cut-off value of P(nCPAP) turned out to be 10.5 cmH(2)O with a high negative predictive value (0.93) and a low negative likelihood ratio (0.18). OSA patients with a P(nCPAP) of >10.5 cmH( 2)O are unlikely to respond to oral appliance therapy. This prediction is clinically helpful to both OSA patients and medical personnel in discussing oral appliances as a temporary substitute and/or alternative for nCPAP.

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