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Thorax 59:159-163 doi:10.1136/thorax.2003.015859
  • Review series

Sleep · 2: Pathophysiology of obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome

  1. R B Fogel,
  2. A Malhotra,
  3. D P White
  1. Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R B Fogel
    Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; rfogelpartners.org

    Abstract

    The pathogenesis of airway obstruction in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome is reviewed. The primary defect is probably an anatomically small or collapsible pharyngeal airway, in combination with a sleep induced fall in upper airway muscle activity.