The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is considered to be very high in western industrialized countries. There are conservative and surgical forms of treatment for OSA; however, the pathophysiology is largely unexplained and cannot be explained by anatomical abnormalities alone. In recent years, a number of non-anatomical factors have been found that favor the development of OSA. These include the respiratory excitation threshold (arousals), the respiratory drive (loop gain), as well as the control and function of the muscular upper airway dilators. The understanding of the individual pathophysiological processes may be helpful in the future to develop individual treatment approaches for patients.
- Loop gain
- Respiratory drive
- Sleep-disordered breathing disorders
- Upper airway