Occlusion and narrowing of the pharyngeal airway in obstructive sleep apnea: Evaluation by ultrafast spoiled GRASS MR imaging

F. G. Shellock, C. J. Schatz, P. Julien, F. Steinberg, T. K F Foo, M. L. Hopp, P. R. Westbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Morphologic abnormalities of the pharyngeal airway are frequently found in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. These structural alterations in the pharyngeal airway can be detected in awake patients by using rapid imaging techniques. Ten patients with clinically proved obstructive sleep apnea had ultrafast spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady state (GRASS) MR imaging of the pharyngeal airway to determine the presence of occlusions and/or narrowings. Twelve sequential images were obtained at one midsagittal plane and at eight transverse planes through the pharyngeal airway. The scans were obtained at the rate of one image per 1.04 sec while the patient was breathing quietly. Occlusions or narrowings of the pharyngeal airways were detected on MR images in all patients. The site(s) of the occlusions and the site(s) and extent of the narrowings varied. Six patients had occlusions and four had narrowings of one or more sites. This study shows that ultrafast spoiled GRASS MR imaging can be used to evaluate patients with obstructive sleep apnea during tidal breathing and is useful for determining the presence of occlusions and narrowings of the pharyngeal airway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1024
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Volume158
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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    Shellock, F. G., Schatz, C. J., Julien, P., Steinberg, F., Foo, T. K. F., Hopp, M. L., & Westbrook, P. R. (1992). Occlusion and narrowing of the pharyngeal airway in obstructive sleep apnea: Evaluation by ultrafast spoiled GRASS MR imaging. American Journal of Roentgenology, 158(5), 1019-1024.