Flowvolume Loops Rationale

Flow-volume loops have the potential to be used to detect upper airway obstruction during wakefulness as a predictor of airway occlusion during sleep.

Equipment

Recording of flow-volume loops requires a body plethysmo-graph, rapid response spirometer, or pneumotachograph (see Section 1 of this Statement).

Advantages

Flow-volume loops can be measured quickly. The equipment is widely available and measurements can be made during wakefulness.

Disadvantages

Flow-volume loops cannot usefully distinguish patients with sleep apnea from others (47, 48).

Applications

The only clinical role is as a quick method of assessing whether a gross mass lesion is present around the upper airway. It is not of routine value.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

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