Role of Fluid Redistribution in the Pathogenesis of Sleep Apnea


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common respiratory disorder in adult population where it increases the mortality risk. The main treatment of OSA is continuous positive airway pressure and although it is effective in most cases, many cannot tolerate it. Therefore, it is important to develop new treatments for sleep apnea. We have proposed that fluid which is accumulated in the legs during day moves towards the head when lay down to sleep. The consequent accumulation of fluid in the neck could be a major contributor to the development of OSA. To test this hypothesis, we aim to determine whether intravenous fluid infusion during sleep will cause fluid accumulation in the neck, narrow the throat and induce OSA. If so, a new approach for the therapy of sleep apnea would be to prevent fluid accumulation in the legs during and its displacement into the neck at night. 

Azadeh Yadollahi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. T. Douglas Bradley