Introduction

Although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a major public health problem in the US and the rest of the world we have not unraveled the pathogenesis of this disorder. Nonetheless, the level of understanding and treatment of this disorder has escalated dramatically in the last 20 years. Several upper airway imaging techniques have provided important insight into the anatomical basis of OSA and its treatment. OSA appears to result from a combination of abnormal upper airway anatomy and changes in neural activation mechanisms intrinsic to sleep. Regardless of the fundamental initiating event, the final pathway in patients with OSA is obstruction of the airway during sleep and therefore upper airway assessment is vital to further understanding of the disorder.

This chapter reviews upper airway imaging modalities and how they relate airway morphology to the understanding of OSA and its therapeutic interventions. First, a review of the normal upper airway is provided.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Have You Been Told Over And Over Again That You Snore A Lot, But You Choose To Ignore It? Have you been experiencing lack of sleep at night and find yourself waking up in the wee hours of the morning to find yourself gasping for air?

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