Surgical management in a severe OSA patient diagnosed with Stickler syndrome

So Young Jeon, Oh Eun Kwon, Jin Woo Jang, Sang Yoon Kang, Jin-Young Min, Sung Wan Kim
Auris, Nasus, Larynx 2020 June 11
Stickler syndrome is a genetic disorder of connective tissue. One of the major symptoms associated with this disorder is an oro-facial malformation, which may cause a submucous cleft or a complete cleft of the hard palate. A 32-year-old man diagnosed with Stickler syndrome and a submucosal cleft palate (SMCP) visited our hospital with a chief complaint of excessive daytime sleepiness. The patient was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and administration of a polysomnography test revealed an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 30.9 events/hour (h). Auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure was initiated to control the OSA symptoms and subsequently the patient showed some improvement. However, due to continuous velopharyngeal insufficiency symptoms, intravelar veloplasty was performed. Three months after surgery, the AHI had decreased to 12.4 events/h. Recent studies have described a greater risk for OSA in individuals with cleft palate, than in the general population. The present case demonstrates surgical success in a patient with OSA and SMCP, suggesting that palatal surgery may be considered an optional surgical treatment for OSA patients with SMCP.

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