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Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2012 Nov 1;17(6):e925-9.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Review of the literature.

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University of Seville, Seville, Spain.


Obstructive sleep apnea and hypopnea syndrome is characterized by repeated airway collapse during sleep. The literature describes multiple causes of the disease. The main cause is a reduction of the expansion forces of the pharyngeal dilator muscles, as in situations of genioglossal muscle dysfunction, and discoordination between the inspiratory activity of the muscle and respiratory effort, which play an important role in progression of the disease. Other described causes are soft tissue disorders, such as macroglossia or tonsillar hypertrophy, and skeletal structural alterations such as micrognathia and retrognathia. The syndrome is also more frequent in obese people, where the accumulation of fat in the neck region produces narrowing of the pharyngeal airway, thereby diminishing the passage of air. This review focuses on the pathogenesis, epidemiology, main features and diagnosis of the disease, and on its main forms of treatment.

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