Upper Airway Stimulation Promising for Sleep Apnea

BALTIMORE, Maryland — Electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve is a promising treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients who do not respond to or can't tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, according to results a phase 3 multicenter study.

The study found clinically and statistically significant improvement in objective and subjective sleep measures of OSA severity in patients implanted with the Upper Airway Stimulation System from Inspire Medical Systems, which sponsored the trial.

"Overall the results were very positive," Patrick J. Strollo Jr, MD, medical director of the Sleep Medicine Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News. Patients with moderate to severe OSA in whom CPAP fails "need an alternative treatment," and hypoglossal nerve stimulation may provide "a therapeutic option," he said.

"When an electrode is placed in the hypoglossal nerve the tongue is stimulated to actually protrude and that in essence offsets upper airway closure during sleep," Dr. Strollo explained. "The implantation takes place, and the patient is subsequently brought into the sleep laboratory where the pacemaker is adjusted to the appropriate setting to allow airway opening during sleep."

Read full article at Medscape Today...

Author of the report: 
Megan Brooks
Source of the report: 
Medscape Today