- Publication date : 1996-08-05
Sériès F, Côté C, Simoneau JA, St Pierre S, Marc I. Upper airway collapsibility, and contractile and metabolic characteristics of musculus uvulae. FASEB J. 1996;10:897-904. PubMed PMID: 8666167.
airway obstruction female humans male middle aged muscle contraction palatal muscles sleep sleep apnea syndromes snoring wakefulness
Physiologic, metabolic, and histochemical characteristics of one upper airway (UA) dilator muscle (musculus uvulae; MU) differ between sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (SAHS) and nonapneic snorers. We hypothesized that these differences in MU characteristics could result from the cumulative effects of the diurnal and nocturnal intermittent contractions of UA muscles in order to compensate for a permanent increase in UA collapsibility. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of UA collapsibility on MU characteristics. Seventeen SAHS and three nonapneic snorers, who underwent an uvulo-palato-pharyngoplasty as a treatment for snoring or SAHS, participated in the study. Awake and sleeping UA critical pressure (Pcrit) was measured during continuous positive or negative airway pressure trials by analysis of the relationship between maximal inspiratory flow and the upstream pressure of flow-limited breathing cycles. Maximum isometric twitch (Pt) and tetanic tension (Po), fatigability measurements, activities of marker enzymes for anaerobic and aerobic-oxidative profile, and fiber type proportions and areas of MU were determined. There was a significant positive relationship between Pt, Po, and Pcrit measured during wakefulness and sleep. The fatigability index was negatively correlated with awake Pcrit values (r = -0.79). Activity level of the anaerobic enzymes as well as the percentage of surface occupied by type I and type IIA muscle fibers as correlated witb awake Pcrit. We conclude that the differences in awake UA collapsibility help to determine the contractile properties and metabolic and histochemical characteristics of MU.