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Does the length of uvula affect the palatal implant outcome in the management of habitual snoring?

Authors

  • Meltem Esen Akpinar MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Second Clinic of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ministry of Health Istanbul Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Adnan Saygun Cad Gozde Sok Engin B Apt Da:13, 2.Ulus Beşiktaş Istanbul
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  • Ozgur Yigit MD,

    1. Second Clinic of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ministry of Health Istanbul Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
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  • Ismail Kocak MD, MSc,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Otolaryngology, Yeditepe University School of Medicine, Istanbul and, Turkey
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  • Aytug Altundag MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Clinic, Ministry of Health Diyarbakir Training and Research Hospital, Diyarbakir, Turkey
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To evaluate the impact of the uvular length on the efficacy of palatal implants in primary snoring.

Study Design:

Prospective case series, tertiary hospital, snoring and respiratory sleep disorders center.

Methods:

Forty subjects with inserted palatal implants and diagnoses of primary snoring were included. All met the inclusion criteria of age >18 years, body mass index <30, apnea-hypopnea index <5, tonsil grade <3, soft-palate length >25 mm, and Friedman tongue position <3 following clinical, endoscopic, and polysomnographic evaluation. Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) and the snoring-intensity visual analogue scale (VAS) were recorded before and 9 months after the implant. Four subjects with extruded implants were excluded; the remaining 36 subjects were divided into two groups, Group I and Group II, with uvular lengths of ≤15 mm and >15 mm, respectively. The study assessed and compared subjective outcome measures including the partner's satisfaction (PS), partner's reported improvement (PRI), 50% VAS and ESS reduction, and subjective success (SS) defined as 50% VAS reduction. The Student t test, χ2 test, and logistic regression models were used for statistical evaluation.

Results:

SS (50% VAS reduction), PS, PRI, and 50% ESS reduction were significantly higher in Group I (P < .001, P = .0257, P = .027, P < .001). The overall SS, PRI, PS, and 50% ESS reduction were 33%, 78%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. The uvular length was found to be the determinant factor of SS (P = .005; odds ratio = 0.75), PRI (P = .039; odds ratio = 0.83), and 50% ESS reduction (P = .038; odds ratio: 0.84) following implant insertion through stepwise logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions:

Excess uvular length (>15 mm) is an important anatomic feature decreasing the efficacy of palatal implants in snoring, and additional measures, such as uvulectomy, should be considered simultaneously for better outcomes (level 4).

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