What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020
  • Author: Vittorio Rinaldi, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Radiologic and diagnostic studies have been used to identify the obstruction site, to direct surgical intervention, and to predict outcomes of sleep apnea surgery. These studies include lateral cephalometric radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), asleep fluoroscopy, asleep and awake endoscopy with Mueller maneuver, upper-airway manometry, and acoustic reflection techniques. [45]

Most of those techniques have limitations (dynamic and tridimensional evaluation) with respect to the investigation of the mechanism of occlusion. Ultrafast MRI provides a reliable and noninvasive method for static and dynamic evaluation of the soft-tissue structures surrounding the upper airway during the respiratory cycle in wakefulness and sleep.


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