Muscle Fiber Distribution of the Soft Palate in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.
It has been suggested that the alterations in morphologic features
of the pharynx may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of
obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). In this investigation,
pharyngeal tissue was obtained from three apneic patients in an attempt
to detect a trend between muscle fiber distribution and the severity of
OSAS. Specimen muscle fibers were analyzed for fiber type
histochemically and analyzed for distribution using a quantitative
technique. Once these distributions of muscle fiber types were known,
they were compared to the preoperative polysomnograms which indicate the
actual severity of OSAS. Preliminary results suggest that there is not a
trend between the dispersion of type I and type IIA fiber areas and the
severity of OSAS, due to limited sample size. These results will serve
as a foundation for further studies.
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics