• 1 School of Dental Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia
Clin Oral Investig, 2010 Oct;14(5):491-8.
PMID: 19806371 DOI: 10.1007/s00784-009-0342-9


The aim of the present study is to investigate nasal airway morphology in Asian adults with and without obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) using acoustic rhinometry (AR), principal components analysis (PCA), and 3-D finite-element analysis (FEA). One hundred eight adult Malays aged 18-65 years (mean ± SD, 33.2 ± 13.31) underwent clinical examination and limited channel polysomnography, providing 54 patients with OSA and 54 non-OSA controls. The mean minimal cross section area 1 (MCA1) and the mean minimal cross sectional area 2 (MCA2) were obtained from AR for all subjects and subjected to t tests. The OSA and control nasal airways were reconstructed in 3-D and subjected to PCA and FEA. The mean MCA1 and MCA2 using AR were found to be significantly smaller in the OSA group than in the control group (p < 0.001). Comparing the 3-D OSA and control nasal airways using PCA, the first two eigenvalues accounted for 94% of the total shape change, and statistical differences were found (p < 0.05). Similarly, comparing the nasal airways using FEA, the 3-D mean OSA nasal airway was significantly narrower in the OSA group compared to the control group. Specifically, decreases in size of approx. 10-22% were found in the nasal valve/head of inferior turbinate area. In conclusion, differences in nasal airway morphology are present when comparing patients with OSA to controls. These differences need to be recognized as they can improve our understanding of the etiological basis of obstructive sleep apnea and facilitate its subsequent management.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.