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Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(1):45-9. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3558.

Critical appraisal and meta-analysis of nasal surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, Taiwan.



Nasal surgery is commonly involved in surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of nasal surgery for OSA using evidence-based methodology.


The MedLine database (1999∼2009) was searched for original articles published in peer-reviewed journals concerning nasal surgery for snoring/sleep apnea. Data extracted from these articles were reviewed and analyzed using meta-analysis technology.


Thirteen articles were critically appraised. Two studies provided control groups and 11 articles (84.6%) consisted of prospective noncontrolled clinical trials (level II in evidence strength). The weighted mean apnea/hypopnea index measured by polysomnography in nine studies decreased from 35.2 ± 22.6 to 33.5 ± 23.8 event/hour after nasal surgery (overall, p = 0.69). The pooled success rate of nasal surgery in treating OSA was 16.7%. Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores in eight studies decreased from 10.6 ± 3.9 to 7.1 ± 3.7 (overall, p <0.001). Nasal surgery for snoring assessed by individual questionnaires and visual analog scale reported significant improvement (p < 0.05).


The critical literature appraisal and meta-analyses show that nasal surgery can effectively reduce daytime sleepiness and snoring. However, the efficacy of nasal surgery in treating OSA is limited.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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