Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Oral Appliances a Top Option for Mild to Moderate Apnea

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Oral Appliances a Top Option for Mild to Moderate Apnea

Article excerpt

MONTREAL -- Oral appliances are equally effective as continuous positive airway pressure therapy in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, but not in those with severe disease, according to a randomized trial.

"We've now shown clearly that oral appliances are a viable option that can be considered alongside CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] therapy in mild to moderate cases," Dr. Aarnoud Hoekema said in an interview. "Oral appliances are still a subject of much debate. In some clinics, they are used as secondary therapy only when CPAP therapy fails. Other clinics might use them only in patients with mild sleep apnea."

His study, which he presented at the Eighth World Congress on Sleep Apnea, randomized 103 patients with obstructive sleep apnea to either CPAP (52) or oral appliance therapy (51).

Treatment effectiveness was evaluated by polysomnography after 8 weeks, and was defined as either a reduction in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) to below 5, or an AHI reduction to below 20 if this represented at least a 50% reduction in AHI and also rendered the patient symptom free.

A total of 50 patients were classified as having mild to moderate sleep apnea, defined as an AHI of between 5 and 30, while the remaining 53 patients had severe disease, with an AHI of more than 30, reported Dr. …

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