High nasal resistance is stable over time but poorly perceived in people with tetraplegia and obstructive sleep apnoea

Nirupama S. Wijesuriya, Chaminda Lewis, Jane E. Butler, Bonsan B Lee, Amy S. Jordan, David J Berlowitz, Danny J. Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is highly prevalent in people with tetraplegia. Nasal congestion, a risk factor for OSA, is common in people with tetraplegia. The purpose of this study was to quantify objective and perceived nasal resistance and its stability over four separate days in people with tetraplegia and OSA (n = 8) compared to able-bodied controls (n = 6). Awake nasal resistance was quantified using gold standard choanal pressure recordings (days 1 and 4) and anterior rhinomanometry (all visits). Nasal resistance (choanal pressure) was higher in people with tetraplegia versus controls (5.3[6.5] vs. 2.1[2.4] cmH2O/L/s, p = 0.02) yet perceived nasal congestion (modified Borg score) was similar (0.5[1.8] vs. 0.5[2.0], p = 0.8). Nasal resistance was stable over time in both groups (CV = 0.23 ± 0.09 vs. 0.16 ± 0.08, p = 0.2). These findings are consistent with autonomic dysfunction in tetraplegia and adaptation of perception to high nasal resistance. Nasal resistance may be an important therapeutic target for OSA in this population but self-assessment cannot reliably identify those most at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalRespiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
Volume235
Early online date3 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • nasal congestion
  • spinal cord injury
  • autonomic dysfunction
  • Upper airway

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