Elizabeth Nye1, Shaokoon Cheng1, Simon Gandevia2, David McKenzie3, Ralph Sinkus4, Lynne Bilston2
1Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2Neuroscience Research Australia, Australia; 3University of New South Wales, Australia; 4Centre de Recherches Biomdicales Bichat-Beaujon, France
The pathophysiological mechanisms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) are unclear and the change in mechanical properties of soft tissues and tongue muscles is likely to play an important role in the disorder. In this study, magnetic resonance elastography is used to probe the mechanical properties of the tongue and soft palate in five OSA patients and healthy normal subjects. Results shows that while the shear moduli of the tongue is significantly softer in the OSA patients (p < 0.05), the mechanical properties of the soft palate between the 2 subject groups are not significantly different (p > 0.05).