Sleep apnea and cervical spine pathology

Adam Khan, Khoi D. Than, Kevin S. Chen, Anthony C. Wang, Frank La Marca, Paul Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Sleep apnea is a multi-factorial disease with a variety of identified causes. With its close proximity to the upper airway, the cervical spine and its associated pathologies can produce sleep apnea symptoms in select populations. The aim of this article was to summarize the literature discussing how cervical spine pathologies may cause sleep apnea. Methods: A search of the PubMed database for English-language literature concerning the cervical spine and its relationship with sleep apnea was conducted. Seventeen published papers were selected and reviewed. Results: Single-lesion pathologies of the cervical spine causing sleep apnea include osteochondromas, osteophytes, and other rare pathologies. Multifocal lesions include rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine and endogenous cervical fusions. Furthermore, occipital-cervical misalignment pre- and post-cervical fusion surgery may predispose patients to sleep apnea. Conclusions: Pathologies of the cervical spine present significant additional etiologies for producing obstructive sleep apnea in select patient populations. Knowledge of these entities and their pathophysiologic mechanisms is informative for the clinician in diagnosing and managing sleep apnea in certain populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Cervical spine
  • Cervical vertebrae
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Sleep apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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    Khan, A., Than, K. D., Chen, K. S., Wang, A. C., La Marca, F., & Park, P. (2014). Sleep apnea and cervical spine pathology. European Spine Journal, 23(3), 641-647. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-013-3046-4