Phenotype of Airway Collapse in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Developing methods to detect the most common contributor to obstructive sleep apnea to inform better diagnosis and treatment options

Full Project Name:Determining the Phenotype of Airway Collapse in Obstructive Sleep ApneaPrincipal Investigator:Guilherme Garcia, PhD, Biomedical EngineeringCo-Investigator:John Rhee, MD, MPH, Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences; Tucker Woodson, MD, Otolaryngology and Communication SciencesAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
January2019
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a major public health problem with a high prevalence in Wisconsin, affecting 9% of women and 24% of men. Patients with OSA have many negative health consequences, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease due to fragmented sleep and reductions in blood oxygen saturation. Because treatment for OSA is often either ineffective or high-cost and invasive, many patients never find adequate relief. There is a need to develop low-cost, non-invasive methods to identify the site of airway collapse in order to assist clinicians in selecting the optimal treatment for each patient to improve individual and population health outcomes.

Through this award, investigators aim to develop methods to detect the most common contributor to obstructive sleep apnea in order to provide new knowledge and data to inform better diagnosis and treatment options for patients.

Project Updates:


• Obtained IRB approval and access to critical data sets

• Identified ideal cohort of patients for study

• Recruited and trained the PostDoctoral fellow on the computational and experimental methods for the project

• Developed a mathematical model that correlates the shape of air flow vs. time curve in patients with obstructive sleep apnea to the mechanical properties of the upper airway

• Preparing a manuscript to present initial findings

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