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Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2016 Dec;49(6):1331-1341. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

Positive Airway Pressure Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

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Pediatric Respiratory Medicine and Medical Education, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:
Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Positive airway pressure (PAP) is considered first-line therapy for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea and may also be considered for mild obstructive sleep apnea, particularly if it is symptomatic or there are concomitant cardiovascular disorders. Continuous PAP is most commonly used. Other modes, such as bilevel airway pressure, autotitrating positive airway pressure, average volume assured pressure support, and adaptive support ventilation, play important roles in the management of sleep-related breathing disorders. This article outlines the indications, description, and comfort features of each mode. Despite the proven efficacy of PAP in treating obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and its sequelae, adherence to therapy is low. Close follow-up of patients for evaluation of adherence to and effectiveness of treatment is important.


Adaptive support ventilation; Autotitrating positive airway pressure; Average volume assured pressure support; Bilevel positive airway pressure; Continuous positive airway pressure; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome; Positive airway pressure therapy; Pressure relief

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