The Upper Airway Muscles: Their Role in Sleep-Related Respiratory Dysrhythmias
The upper airways are a convoluted set of channels which air from the atmosphere must traverse to contact the gas-exchanging surfaces of the lungs. The upper airways contain muscular structures which participate not only in breathing, but in speech, chewing and swallowing as well. In part on account of their complex anatomy, the upper airways make up 40% to 70% of the total resistance to air flow even during resting breathing in the awake state. In addition, there are sectors of narrowing in the nasal, oral, and laryngopharynx where even minor anomalies in configuration can substantially affect resistance to air flow (Lunteren and Strohl, 1986; Widdicombe, 1986; Cherniack, 1984).
KeywordsObstructive Sleep Apnea Phrenic Nerve Hypoglossal Nerve Central Sleep Apnea Central Apnea
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