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Abstract #3846

Evaluation of upper airway neuromuscular reflex and passive collapsibility using real-time multi-slice MRI during CPAP

Weiyi Chen1, Emily Gillett2, Sally L. Davidson Ward2, Michael C.K. Khoo1, and Krishna S. Nayak1

1University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 2Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States

We demonstrate a new imaging test that uses simultaneous multi-slice real-time MRI during continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to quantify upper airway neuromuscular reflex and passive collapsibility. Both are measured using cross-sectional area fluctuation during abrupt changes to CPAP. We applied this test to patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and healthy controls. Subjects with OSA showed 3-5x higher airway area fluctuation compared to healthy volunteers, and this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Neuromuscular reflex and area fluctuation varied greatly among the OSA patients, suggesting a potential spectrum of active/physiological and passive/anatomical factors contributing to OSA.

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