Pharyngometry useful in identifying presence and severity of SDB

Acoustic Pharyngometry is a modern diagnostic method based on physical principle of acoustic reflection. It is useful for volume analysis of oro-pharyngo-laryngeal spaces.Aim: To evaluate variations of pharyngometric parameters in patients with sleep disorders and to establish a correlation between morpho-volumetric variations of oropharyngo-laryngeal spaces and the presence and severity of disease.

Study design: a clinical and experimental study.

Material and method: 110 patients, of which 70 with sleep disorders and 40 healthy patients as a control group, were analysed between June 2004 and June 2005. All patients underwent acoustic pharyngometry to evaluate the mouth and hypopharynx based on an explanatory chart.

Results: A significant difference in parameters was observed between sleep disorder patients and the control group, especially in the amplitude of the I wave (significantly lower in patients with macroglossia), the extension of the O-F segment, and the amplitude of the O-F segment and hypopharyngeal area.

Conclusion: Although not a standardized test, acoustic pharyngometry was proved to be a useful method both in the diagnosis and severity of obstructive sleep apnea, and in post-operative monitoring of upper airway surgery in patients with sleep disorders.

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