Patient experience with upper airway stimulation in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea

Benedikt Hofauer*, Armin Steffen, Andreas Knopf, Katrin Hasselbacher, Clemens Heiser

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Selective upper airway stimulation (sUAS) is a new treatment modality for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) failure. The aim of this study was to analyze therapy adherence and to structure patient experience reports. Methods: Patients from two German implantation centers were included. Besides demographic and OSA characteristics of that cohort, patients answered a questionnaire on subjective sensation of the stimulation, use of different functions, side effects, and an inventory for the description of the attitude towards sUAS. The use of the sUAS was evaluated as a read-out of the implanted system. Results: The overall apnea-hypopnea-index (AHI) of that 102 assessed patients reduced from initially 32.8/h to 12.6/h at the last available assessment. The responder rate was 75%. There was an objective therapy usage of 5.7 h and subjective reports of 6.8 nights per week. The attitude resulted in strong agreement towards the statement “UAS reduces the problems caused by my sleep apnea”. Information on sensing the stimulation and usage habits could be gathered such as that stimulation is only sensed by 67.9% of the patients upon waking in the morning and that 73.6% of the patients do not change the voltage in general. Conclusion: This investigation on the sUAS therapy revealed a high adherence to the therapy. The AHI or daytime sleepiness do not have obvious influence on adherence. Patients expressed a positive attitude towards sUAS. These patient reports upon stimulation experiences are of great help to consult candidates for sUAS in future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 14.03.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


Dive into the research topics of 'Patient experience with upper airway stimulation in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this