Induction of upper airway occlusion in sleeping individuals with subatmospheric nasal pressure

Alan R Schwartz, Philip L Smith, Robert A Wise, A. R. Gold, S. Permutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In collapsible biologic conduits, occlusion and cessation of flow occur when upstream pressure falls below a critical pressure (Pcrit). To examine the relationship between Pcrit and the development of upper airway occlusion, we examined the relationship between maximal inspiratory airflow and nasal pressure in seven normal subjects during sleep. At varying levels of subatmospheric pressure applied to a nasal mask during non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, maximal inspiratory airflow decreased in proportion to the level of nasal pressure. When nasal pressure fell below a Pcrit, subjects demonstrated upper airway occlusions terminated by arousals. In these normal subjects, the upper airway Pcrit was found to be -13.3±3.2 (SD) cmH2O. In four subjects who sustained sleep while nasal pressure remained below the Pcrit, recurrent occlusive apneas were demonstrated. The relationship between maximal inspiratory airflow and nasal pressure in each subject was fit by linear regression and demonstrated upper airway Pcrit at the zero-flow intercept that were not significantly different from those observed experimentally. These data demonstrate that the normal human upper airway during sleep is characterized by a negative Pcrit and that occlusion may be induced when nasal pressure is decreased below this Pcrit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume64
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

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Nose
Pressure
Sleep
Apnea
Eye Movements
Masks
Arousal
Linear Models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Induction of upper airway occlusion in sleeping individuals with subatmospheric nasal pressure. / Schwartz, Alan R; Smith, Philip L; Wise, Robert A; Gold, A. R.; Permutt, S.

In: Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 64, No. 2, 1988, p. 535-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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