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Procedure Compares Well for Sleep Apnea Treatment

Last Updated: September 24, 2009.

Multilevel radiofrequency tissue volume reduction may offer similar improvements in sleep apnea-related symptoms compared to nasal continuous positive airway pressure, according to research published in the September issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Multilevel radiofrequency tissue volume reduction may offer similar improvements in sleep apnea-related symptoms compared to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), according to research published in the September issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Kursat Ceylan, M.D., of the Ankara Training and Research Hospital in Turkey, and colleagues analyzed data from 47 patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Twenty-six underwent multilevel temperature-controlled radiofrequency tissue volume reduction (TCRFTVR) to treat the soft palate and base of the tongue, and 21 began nasal CPAP. All were assessed 12 months later with polysomnography and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.

The researchers found that the groups had statistically similar improvements in Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores at follow-up, along with similar improvements in other measurements, including apnea-hypopnea index events per hour and lowest mean oxygen saturation. Treatment success rates were also similar (52.4 percent for CPAP versus 53.8 percent for the radiofrequency method).

"In conclusion, TCRFTVR, as a minimally invasive, single-stage, multilevel treatment, offers reasonable improvement in subjective symptoms and objective polysomnography findings in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Similar comparison results with nasal CPAP for objective and subjective variables make single-stage, multilevel TCRFTVR a good alternative in primary treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea," the authors write.

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