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UPPER AIRWAY RESISTANCE SYNDROME

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is defined as a decrease in inspiratory effort caused by a lack of muscular activity and reduction in airway size resulting in arousals from sleep without episodes of apnea or hypopnea, and usually characterized by snoring.

Patients with UARS have increased respiratory efforts with frequent arousals and without overt apneas.  The fragmented sleep results in increased subjective and objective daytime fatigue and less commonly daytime sleepiness.  The presence of snoring implies an elevated level of upper airway resistance.  Snoring is not, however, synonomous with UARS.  Non-apneic snoring does not automatically imply sleep fragmentation.

UARS patients who report nocturnal awakenings feel that is difficult to return to sleep following an arousal.  UARS patients seem to have systolic blood pressure less than 105 mm Hg.  Hypertension is only a symptom of UARS but a common symptom of OSA. Somatic functional complaints such as muscle pain, fainting and cold hands and feet are all related to UARS.

Upper Airway Resistance can be identified on polysomnographic study by the curve of respiratory and expiratory air flow through the nasal/oral canula.    

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