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Original Article

Upper airway in obstructive sleep apnea patients

2008, Volumen 38, Número 4
Reyes Enciso, Yuko Shigeta, Manuel Nguyen, Takumi Ogawa, Glenn T. Clark
Doctor en Filosofía. Facultad de Odontología. Universidad de California del Sur. Los Ángeles, EE.UU.

Sleep apnea is a disorder of interrupted breathing during sleep due to collapse of the airway during breathing when the pharyngeal and tongue muscles relax during sleep causing a obstructive event. In this paper we will review the different modalities of oropharyngeal imaging in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Cone beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) is the ideal candidate to predict sleep apnea in young adults. These patients might have a scan for orthodontics treatment and planning, dental implant planning, temporo-mandibular joint visualization, endodontic lesion or other diagnosis requiring a CBCT scan. The anatomical structures associated with OSA clearly seen and possibly measured in cone beam CT scans are: enlarged tongue/soft palate, enlarged lateral and posterior walls, a narrow oropharynx (small anterior-posterior and lateral dimensions of the oropharynx as well as small cross-sectional airway measurements) and enlarged tonsils/adenoids, especially in children.  (Rev Esp Ortod. 2008;38(4):309-330)

Key words:
Obstructive sleep apnea. Cone beam computerized tomograpahy. Imaging of the upper airway. Adults.
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