Complete concentric collapse at the soft palate in sleep endoscopy: what change is possible after UPPP in patients with CPAP failure?

  • Katrin Hasselbacher
  • A. Seitz
  • N. Abrams
  • B. Wollenberg
  • A. Steffen
Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article



The aim of this work was to assess whether uvulopalatopharyngoplasty in patients with failure for positive airway pressure not only reduces the degree of obstructive sleep apnea but also to determine as well if it changes the collapse pattern of the soft palate and thereby fulfills the qualifications for implementing upper airway stimulation (UAS) as an adjunctive solution.


Fifteen patients with intolerance for positive airway pressure were included in this retrospective cohort study. Polygraphy and drug-induced sleep endoscopy were used in order to evaluate the reduction of the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), as well as the change of collapse pattern at the soft palate level before and about 3 months after uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and tonsillectomy (TE-UPPP).


In 93% of the patients, a postoperative change of the initially complete concentric palatal collapse pattern could be found during drug-induced sleep endoscopy. In one patient, no obstruction at all was seen at the soft palatal level. Only one patient still presented with a complete concentric collapse at velum level. AHI decreased from mean 34.7 events per hour to 20.2/h and oxygen desaturation index from 25.3 events per hour to 16.1/h.


Patients seeking for positive airway pressure alternatives could not only benefit from reduction of AHI by TE-UPPP postoperatively; additionally, by changing the collapse pattern at the soft palate, they might also fulfill criteria for upper airway stimulation (UAS) in case of persistent OSA of at least moderate degree.


Sleep endoscopy Sleep apnea UPPP CPAP failure Upper airway stimulation VOTE classification 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Katrin Hasselbacher received personal fees and travel expenses from Inspire Medical Systems.

Armin Steffen has received reimbursement of conference fees and travel and accommodation expenses, fees for preparing scientific continuing professional development or other events, funding for research he himself initiated, and fees for conducting clinical studies on related subjects from Inspire Medical Systems and Resmed.

All other authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge, or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (place name of institute/committee) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Retrospective studies

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany

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