Author(s): Mickelson SA, Rosenthal LD, Rock JP, Senior BA, Friduss ME
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Abstract Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a complex disorder that has been associated with a variety of abnormalities of the upper airway, including tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy, nasal obstruction, retrognathia, and macroglossia. The cause of the airway obstruction in acromegaly is believed to be related to osseous and soft-tissue changes surrounding the upper airway, which lead to narrowing and subsequent collapse during sleep. We describe the results of treatment in seven patients with both sleep apnea and acromegaly. Four patients were treated by transsphenoidal hypophysectomy alone with a resolution of sleep apnea syndrome. One underwent hypophysectomy followed by postoperative radiation therapy, which reduced his apnea. Three patients underwent unsuccessful uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Successful treatment of the primary disorder, in this case acromegaly, resulted in improved breathing during sleep in five patients. This series would suggest that acromegalic patients with sleep apnea should be treated for their pituitary tumor to reduce growth hormone before consideration of surgery to enlarge or bypass the upper airway.
This article was published in Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy