Quantitative assessment of the pharyngeal airway by dynamic magnetic resonance imaging in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Katsuhisa Ikeda, Masaki Ogura, Takeshi Oshima, Hideaki Suzuki, Shuichi Higano, Shoki Takahashi, Hajime Kurosawa, Wataru Hida, Hiroo Matsuoka, Tomonori Takasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic changes in the pharyngeal airway of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) were evaluated by quantitating the findings of real-time imaging performed during wakefulness and spontaneous sleep by means of dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Six patients with OSAS and 3 non-OSAS subjects, selected prospectively and randomly, underwent polysomnography and dynamic MRI. The cross-sectional areas of the soft palate and oropharynx and the anterior-posterior airway dimensions seen during wakefulness and spontaneous sleep were calculated by US National Institutes of Health imaging software. On the basis of a case control study, comparisons were made with age-matched and body mass index matched obese non-OSAS snorers. Spontaneous sleep caused significant obstruction and narrowing of various sites of the pharyngeal airway in the OSAS patients, but not in the non-OSAS subjects. During wakefulness, the non-OSAS subjects showed no marked narrowing of the pharyngeal airways, whereas a transient but significant narrowing was observed in the OSAS patients. The mean values of both the cross-sectional area and the anterior-posterior diameter at the soft palate were significantly reduced by spontaneous sleep in the OSAS patients. Dynamic MRI in awake OSAS patients shows promise as a routine diagnostic tool for localizing the upper airway collapse for appropriate selection of surgical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Feb 1


  • Dynamic magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pharyngeal airway
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep apnea syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative assessment of the pharyngeal airway by dynamic magnetic resonance imaging in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this