Endoscopic findings in sleep apnea syndrome

L. P. Rybak, R. H. Maisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sleep apnea syndrome is a constellation of symptoms resulting from recurrent episodes of apnea during sleep. Often the upper airway becomes obstructed during slumber in this disorder. Symptoms relate to sleep deprivation and include morning headaches, daytime somnolence, personality changes with deteriorating intellectual capacity, nocturnal enuresis and sexual dysfunction. Diagnosis is assisted by polysomnographic recordings. Therapy is directed at the cause of obstruction when one can be found, weight loss in massively obese patients, tracheostomy in the symptomatic patient. Four patients with documented sleep apnea syndrome are discussed. One patient, a thin adolescent female underwent adenoidectomy without improvement. Two massively obese adult males required tracheostomy with marked amelioration of symptoms. One additional adult male was found to have sleep apnea due to severe, acquired micrognathia; he was significantly improved by tracheostomy. All three adult patients were found by endoscopic visualization to have marked pharyngeal soft tissue collapse with inspiration during apneic episodes. Possible causes of pharyngeal collapse are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-493
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979


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