Comparison of upper airway collapse during general anaesthesia and sleep

Peter Eastwood, Irene Szollosi, Peter R. Platt, David R. Hillman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Measurement of the collapsibility of the upper airway while a patient is awake is not a good guide to such collapsibility during sleep, presumably because of differences in respiratory drive, muscle tone, and sensitivity of reflexes. To assess whether a relation existed between general anaesthesia and sleep, we measured collapsibility of the upper airway during general anaesthesia and severity of sleep-disordered breathing in 25 people who were having minor surgery on their limbs. Anaesthetised patients who needed positive pressure to maintain airway patency had more severe sleep-disordered breathing than did those whose airways remained patent at or below atmospheric pressure. Such an association was strongest during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. Our findings suggest that sleep-disordered breathing should be considered in all patients with a pronounced tendency for upper airway obstruction during anaesthesia or during recovery from it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYearbook of Anesthesiology and Pain Management 2003
EditorsDavid H. Chestnut
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherMosby Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9780323015790
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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