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Evaluation of surgical methods for sleep apnea and snoring
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are both common disorders with a number of negative health effects. The safety and efficacy of treating snoring and OSA surgically have been questioned and there has been a lack of studies in the field. Aims: 1) To investigate the frequency of serious complications, including death, after surgery for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea; 2) to evaluate the effect on daytime sleepiness after radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in snoring men with mild or no OSA; 3) to evaluate the effect of tonsillectomy on sleep apnea in adults with OSA and tonsillar hypertrophy; 4) to investigate the morphology and cytoarchitecture of muscle fibers in human soft palatal muscles with immunohistochemical and morphological techniques. Methods and results: In paper 1, a retrospective database study. All Swedish adults who were treated surgically because of snoring or OSA from January 1997 to December 2005 were identified in the National Patient Register. None of the surgically treated patients died in the peri- and postoperative period. Severe complications were recorded in 37.1 of 1,000 patients treated with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), in 5.6 of 1,000 patients after uvulopalatoplasty (UPP) and in 8.8 of 1,000 patients after nasal surgery. In paper 2, the study was designed as a randomized, controlled trial. 35 snoring men with mild or no OSA were randomized to either radiofrequency or sham surgery of the soft palate. Radiofrequency surgery was not found to be effective since there was no significant difference between the two groups in relation to the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) or apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) at follow-up. Paper 3 was a prospective study, including 28 patients with an AHI of >10 and with large tonsils. In these patients, tonsillectomy was an effective treatment for OSA; the mean AHI was reduced from 40 units/h to 7 units/h (p<0.001), and the mean ESS was reduced from 10.1 to 6.0 (p<0.001) at the six-month follow-up after surgery. Minor and moderate swallowing dysfunction was found in seven of eight patients investigated before surgery and the swallowing function improved in 5 of them after surgery, while no one deteriorated. In paper 4, we investigated the morphology and cytoarchitecture in normal soft palate muscles. Human limb muscles were used as reference. The findings showed that the soft palate muscle fibers have a cytoskeletal architecture and cellmembrane complex that differs from that of the limb muscles. Conclusions No case of death related to surgery was found among 4,876 patients treated with UPPP, UPP or nasal surgery for snoring or OSA in Sweden between 1997 and 2005. Radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate has no effect on daytime sleepiness, snoring or apnea frequency in snoring men with mild or no OSA. Tonsillectomy can be an effective treatment for OSA in adults with large tonsils. A subgroup of muscle fibers in the human soft palate appears to have special biomechanical properties and their unique cytoarchitecture must be taken into account while assessing function and pathology in oropharyngeal muscles.

Abstract [sv]

Snarkning och obstruktiv sömnapné (OSA) är idag en global folksjukdom. Snarkning är det ”oljud” som uppstår när luftvägen under sömn förminskas och vävnaden börjar vibrera under andning. Vid obstruktiv sömnapné faller vävnaden samman och blockerar luftflödet till lungorna. Ett andningsuppehåll, en s.k. apné inträffar. Ett andningsuppehåll kan pågå allt ifrån några sekunder till mer än en minut och kan uppstå hundratals gånger per natt. För att klassificeras som en patologisk apné enligt internationell standard måste andningsuppehållet vara längre än 10 sek. Snarksjukdomen förvärras sannolikt över tid och övergår succesivt i obstruktiv sömnapné med ökande antal andningsuppehåll under sömn. Detta leder till ett stresspåslag för kroppen med oftast uttalad dagtrötthet och en mängd negativa hälsoeffekter. Snarksjukdom och sömnapné ökar risken för bl.a. högt blodtryck och hjärt-kärlsjukdom samt också för att den drabbade ska orsaka trafikolyckor på grund av försämrad koncentrationsförmåga och trötthet. En del av den negativa utvecklingen från snarkning till sömnapné anses bero på att snarkvibrationer kan ge neuromuskulära skador i gom och svalg. Dessa vävnadsskador anses också vara orsaken till att personer som snarkat länge ofta uppvisar störd sväljningsfunktion i form av felsväljning, där maten i uttalade fall hamnar i luftstrupen istället för i matstrupen. I dagsläget är förstahandsbehandling vid sömnapné CPAP, en mask som placeras över näsa och mun och som skapar ett övertryck i luftvägen vilket förhindrar att luftvägen faller samman och att andningsstopp uppstår. CPAP har enligt flera studier den bästa effekten mot andningsuppehåll. En annan vanlig behandling är en bettskena som för underkäken nedåt och framåt så att luftvägen bli mer öppen. Bettskenan är en vanlig och effektiv behandlingsmetod för personer utan kraftig övervikt vid vanemässig snarkning eller måttlig sömnapné. För ett tjugotal år sedan var kirurgi förstahandsmetoden vid behandling av snarkning och måttlig sömnapné. Man utförde då ofta operationer i svalg och gomm, s.k. gomplastiker. Bruket av kirurgisk behandling har dock minskat med tiden, dels p.g.a. biverkningar men också för att det saknades vetenskapliga studier som bevisade att kirurgin gav önskad och långsiktig effekt. Kirurgi utgör dock fortfarande ett komplement till behandling av snarkning och sömnapné när CPAP eller bettskena av olika skäl inte fungerar eller kan tolereras av patienten. 8 Även barn kan lida av snarkning och sömnapné men behandlingsprinciperna för barn skiljer sig från dem hos vuxna och berörs inte i avhandlingen. I denna avhandling studeras: i) biverkningsfrekvenser efter olika typer av snarkkirurgi, ii) effekten av radiovågsbehandling i mjuka gommen på vuxna män med snarkning, iii) effekten av att operera bort halsmandlarna på vuxna med sömnapné och stora halsmandlar, iv) muskelvävnadens struktur och molekylära uppbyggnad i mjuka gommen hos friska personer som inte snarkar. Avhandlingen består av fyra delstudier: 1. En registerstudie med kartläggning av svåra biverkningar efter kirurgi i form av uvulopalatopharyngoplastik, uvulupalatoplastik samt näskirurgi för behandling av sömnapné och snarkning och utfört i Sverige mellan åren 1997-2005. Studien omfattade 4 876 patienter. Inga dödsfall noterades. Komplikationsrisken var störst vid operationer där man tog bort delar av mjuka gommen samt halsmandlarna, där i snitt 37 av 1000 opererade fick biverkningar, framförallt p.g.a. infektioner eller blödningar. 2. I en prospektiv, randomiserad placebostudie utvärderades effekten av radiovågsbehandling i mjuka gommen vid snarkning och lindrig sömnapne. Trettiotvå patienter lottades till att få radiovågsbehandling eller placebo behandling. Patienterna visste inte vilken grupp de tillhörde. Vid uppföljning efter 12 månader var det inga statistiska belägg för att radiovågsbehandling minskade vare sig antal andningsuppehåll eller dagtrötthet. 3. Effekten av att ta bort halsmandlarna på patienter med stora halsmandlar och olika grad av sömnapné utvärderades i denna studie. Totalt deltog 28 patienter. Vid uppföljning 6 månader efter operationen hade antalet andningsuppehåll sjunkit drastiskt, från i snitt 40 till 7 andningsuppehåll per timme nattsömn. Inga allvarliga biverkningar uppstod. Dessa fynd talar för att man som förstahandsmetod ska erbjuda patienter med sömnapné och stora halsmandlar att ta bort halsmandlarna. 4. I detta projekt undersökte vi utseendet och uppbyggnaden av cellskelettet i två normala muskler i mjuka gommen hos friska personer utan känd snarkning och sömnapné. Muskler från armar och ben användes som referens. Fynden i studien visar att de normala muskelfibrernas uppbyggnad i mjuka gomen skiljer sig från jämförade muskler i armar och ben. Detta kan vara ett uttryck för en evolutionär utveckling för att möjligöra de komplexa funktioner som krävs av svalgets muskulatur. 9 Sammanfattningsvis kan vi konstatera: Att inga dödsfall har skett i Sverige efter operationer i gom, svalg eller näsa, utförda för att behandla snarkning och sömnapné under åren 1997 till 2005. Att radiovågsbehandling av mjuka gommen hos snarkande män med lindrig sömnapné inte har någon effekt på dagtrötthet, snarkning eller andningsuppehåll vid uppföljning efter 12 månader. Metoden kan därför inte rekommenderas. Att när man opererar bort stora halsmandlar på personer med andningsuppehåll så leder detta ofta till att andningsuppehållen minskar drastiskt. Metoden kan därför oftast rekommenderas som en förstahandsbehandling för denna patientgrupp. Att mjuka gommens muskelfibrer är uppbyggda på ett unikt sätt indikerar att deras specifika biomekaniska egenskaper skiljer sig från referens muskler i armar och ben.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2016. , 63 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1801
Keyword [en]
Sleep apnea syndromes, adverse effects, mortality, radiofrequency, sham surgery, randomized controlled trial, daytime sleepiness, snoring, tonsillar hypertrophy, tonsillectomy, cytoskeleton, desmin, dystrophin, muscle fiber, palatopharyngeus, soft palate, uvula.
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology
Research subject
Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118944ISBN: 978-91-7601-461-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-118944DiVA: diva2:917583
Public defence
2016-04-29, Föreläsningssalen ÖNH, byggnad 1B, plan 3, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, 901 87 Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-08 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2016-04-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Frequency of serious complications after surgery for snoring and sleep apnea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Frequency of serious complications after surgery for snoring and sleep apnea
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2011 (English)In: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, ISSN 0001-6489, E-ISSN 1651-2251, Vol. 131, no 3, 298-302 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Conclusion: No case of death related to surgery in the form of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, uvulopalatoplasty or nasal surgery for snoring or sleep apnea has been recorded in Sweden among 4876 patients treated between 1997 and 2005. Severe complications of surgery in the peri-and postoperative period, especially in the form of bleedings and infections, were most common after uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, occurring in 3.7%. Objective: To investigate the frequency of serious complications, including death, of surgery for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. Methods: All Swedish adults who were treated surgically because of snoring or sleep apnea from January 1997 to December 2005 were identified in the National Patient Register. Mortality and serious complications within 30 days from surgery were obtained from the National Cause of Death Register and the National Patient Register. Results: A total of 4876 patients were treated surgically. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty was performed in 3572 patients, uvulopalatoplasty in 929 patients, and nasal surgery in 375 patients. None of the surgically treated patients died in the peri-and postoperative period. Severe complications, mainly bleedings and infections, were recorded in 37.1 per 1000 patients treated with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, in 5.6 per 1000 patients after uvulopalatoplasty, and in 8.8 per 1000 patients after nasal surgery.

Keyword
Sleep apnea syndromes, adverse effects, mortality
National Category
Surgery
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104490 (URN)10.3109/00016489.2010.528793 (DOI)000287321800010 ()21133830 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-06-12 Created: 2015-06-11 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of Radiofrequency versus Sham Surgery of the Soft Palate on Daytime Sleepiness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Radiofrequency versus Sham Surgery of the Soft Palate on Daytime Sleepiness
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2014 (English)In: The Laryngoscope, ISSN 0023-852X, E-ISSN 1531-4995, Vol. 124, no 10, 2422-2426 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the effect of radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate on daytime sleepiness in snoring men with mild or no sleep apnea Study design: Randomized controlled trial Methods: Thirty-five men were recruited from consecutive patients referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic due to snoring and complaints of daytime sleepiness. The inclusion criteria were an apnea-hypopnea index of ≤ 15, male gender and age 18-65 years. Patients were randomized to either radiofrequency or sham surgery of the soft palate. All but one chose and received the option of three treatments. All patients participated in a follow-up including an overnight sleep apnea recording and questionnaires 12 months after the last treatment. The primary outcome was daytime sleepiness measured with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and other questionnaires. Secondary outcomes were effects on the apnea-hypopnea index and subjective snoring. Results: Thirty-two of 35 patients, 19 of 20 in the radiofrequency surgery group and 13 of 15 in the sham surgery group, completed the study. No differences between the two groups in relation to the ESS or apnea-hypopnea index were found at follow-up. Conclusion: Radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate has no effect on daytime sleepiness, snoring or apnea frequency in snoring men with mild or no sleep apnea, one year after surgery.

Keyword
Radiofrequency, sham surgery, randomized controlled trial, daytime sleepiness, snoring, sleep apnea syndrome
National Category
Clinical Medicine Otorhinolaryngology
Research subject
Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-85202 (URN)10.1002/lary.24580 (DOI)000342749100043 ()24390800 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-01-29 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Tonsillectomy in adults with obstructive sleep apnea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tonsillectomy in adults with obstructive sleep apnea
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2016 (English)In: The Laryngoscope, ISSN 0023-852X, E-ISSN 1531-4995, Vol. 126, no 12, 2859-2862 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives/Hypothesis To study whether tonsillectomy is effective on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults with large tonsils. Study Design A multicenter prospective interventional study. Methods The study comprised 28 patients with OSA, an apnea-hypopnea index of > 10, large tonsils (Friedman tonsil size 3 and 4), and age 18 to 59 years. They were derived from 41 consecutive males and females with large tonsils referred for a suspicion of sleep apnea to the ear, nose, and throat departments in Umea, Skelleftea, and Sunderbyn in northern Sweden. The primary outcome was the apnea-hypopnea index, measured with polygraphic sleep apnea recordings 6 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included daytime sleepiness, as measured with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and swallowing function, using video-fluoroscopy. Results The apnea-hypopnea index was reduced from a mean of 40 units per hour (95% confidence interval [CI] 28-51) to seven units per hour (95% CI 3-11), P < 0.001, at the 6-month follow-up after surgery. The apnea-hypopnea index was reduced in all patients and 18 (64%) were cured. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was reduced from a mean of 11 (95% CI 8-13) to 6.0 (95% CI 4-7), P < 0.001. A swallowing dysfunction was found in seven of eight investigated patients before surgery. Of those, swallowing function improved in five patients after surgery, whereas no one deteriorated. Conclusion Tonsillectomy may be effective treatment for adult patients with OSA and large tonsils. Tonsillectomy may be suggested for adults with OSA and large tonsils. Level of Evidence 4.

Keyword
OSA, tonsilar hypertrophy, tonsillectomy
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology
Research subject
Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119020 (URN)10.1002/lary.26038 (DOI)000388602600048 ()27107408 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
4. Unique expression of cytoskeletal proteins in human soft palate muscles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unique expression of cytoskeletal proteins in human soft palate muscles
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Anatomy, ISSN 0021-8782, E-ISSN 1469-7580, Vol. 228, no 3, 487-494 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The human oropharyngeal muscles have a unique anatomy with diverse and intricate functions. To investigate if this specialization is also reflected in the cytoarchitecture of muscle fibers, intermediate filament proteins and the dystrophin-associated protein complex have been analyzed in two human palate muscles, musculus uvula (UV) and musculus palatopharyngeus (PP), with immunohistochenmical and morphological techniques. Human limb muscles were used as reference. The findings show that the soft palate muscle fibers have a cytoskeletal architecture that differs from the limb muscles. While all limb muscles showed immunoreaction for a panel of antibodies directed against different domains of cytoskeletal proteins desmin and dystrophin, a subpopulation of palate muscle fibers lacked or had a faint immunoreaction for desmin (UV 11.7% and PP 9.8%) and the C-terminal of the dystrophin molecule (UV 4.2% and PP 6.4%). The vast majority of these fibers expressed slow contractile protein myosin heavy chain I. Furthermore, an unusual staining pattern was also observed in these fibers for β-dystroglycan, caveolin-3 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase nNOS, which are all membrane-linking proteins associated with the dystrophin C-terminus. While the immunoreaction for nNOS was generally weak or absent, β-dystroglycan and caveolin-3 showed a stronger immunostaining. The absence or a low expression of cytoskeletal proteins otherwise considered ubiquitous and important for integration and contraction of muscle cells indicate a unique cytoarchitecture designed to meet the intricate demands of the upper airway muscles. It can be concluded that a subgroup of muscle fibers in the human soft palate appears to have special biomechanical properties, and their unique cytoarchitecture must be taken into account while assessing function and pathology in oropharyngeal muscles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016
Keyword
cytoskeleton, desmin, dystrophin, muscle fiber, palatopharyngeus, sleep apnea, soft palate, uvula
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology Physiology
Research subject
Human Anatomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-115780 (URN)10.1111/joa.12417 (DOI)000373121100011 ()26597319 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Heart Lung Foundation
Available from: 2016-02-04 Created: 2016-02-04 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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