Tongue Stiffness is Lower in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea during Wakefulness Compared with

This study aimed to determine whether tongue stiffness (shear modulus) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is different for controls matched for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), and to investigate the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on stiffness.

In awake subjects with obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue is less stiff than in similar healthy subjects and this difference occurs in the muscle fiber direction. CPAP did not significantly reduce tongue stiffness. Thus, any change in neural drive to genioglossus during wakefulness is insufficient to restore normal tongue stiffness.

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