Study Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and costly public health problem. The main medical treatment, continuous positive airway pressure, is efficacious when used, but poorly tolerated in up to 50% of patients. Upper airway reconstructive surgery is available when medical treatments fail but randomized trial evidence supporting its use is limited. This protocol details a randomized controlled trial designed to assess the clinical effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of a multilevel upper airway surgical procedure for OSA.
Methods: A prospective, parallel-group, open label, randomized, controlled, multicenter clinical trial in adults with moderate or severe OSA who have failed or refused medical therapies. Six clinical sites in Australia randomly allocated participants in a 1:1 ratio to receive either an upper airway surgical procedure consisting of a modified uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and minimally invasive tongue volume reduction, or to continue with ongoing medical management, and followed them for 6 months.
Results: Primary outcomes: Difference between groups in baseline-adjusted 6 month OSA severity (apnea-hypopnea index) and subjective sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale). Secondary outcomes: Other OSA symptoms (e.g. snoring and objective sleepiness), other polysomnography parameters (e.g. arousal index and 4% oxygen desaturation index), quality of life, 24 hr ambulatory blood pressure, adverse events, and adherence to ongoing medical therapies (medical group).
Conclusions: The Sleep Apnea Multilevel Surgery (SAMS) trial is of global public health importance for testing the effectiveness and safety of a multilevel surgical procedure for patients with OSA who have failed medical treatment.
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Tongue reduction