A randomized trial of temperature-controlled radiofrequency, continuous positive airway pressure, and placebo for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Woodson, B.Tucker.; Steward, D.L.; Weaver, E.M.; Javaheri, S.

Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery Official Journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 128(6): 848-861


ISSN/ISBN: 0194-5998
PMID: 12825037
DOI: 10.1016/s0194-5998(03)00461-3
Accession: 048108016

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The study goal was to determine the effectiveness of (1) multilevel temperature-controlled radiofrequency tissue ablation (TCRFTA) or (2) continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, 2-site trial, comparing TCRFTA (n = 30) and CPAP (n = 30) with sham-placebo (n = 30) using intention-to-treat analysis. Compared with pretreatment baseline, TCRFTA improved reaction time, OSAS-specific quality of life (QOL), and subjective sleepiness (all P < 0.05). Compared with sham-placebo, TCRFTA improved QOL, airway volume, apnea index, and respiratory arousal index (all P < 0.05). TCRFTA side effects and complications were mild, temporary, and similar to sham-placebo. CPAP improved QOL and sleepiness compared with baseline and QOL when compared with sham-placebo (all P < 0.05). Significant differences were not seen between TCRFTA and CPAP outcomes. TCRFTA and CPAP each improve QOL for mild-moderate OSAS patients. TCRFTA improvements may result from changes in airway volume, apnea index, and respiratory arousal index.