Submental Ultrasonographic Parameters among Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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This study aimed to determine the value of submental ultrasonography (US) parameters for diagnostic workup among patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and to determine whether there is a correlation between US findings and the severity of OSA.

Study Design

Cross-sectional analysis.


Tertiary education hospital.

Subjects and Methods

The study included 147 patients with suspected OSA who underwent submental US to evaluate various parameters following overnight polysomnography. US findings were compared with the apnea-hypopnea index and other parameters.


All US parameters, except for subcutaneous tissue thickness, were significantly different among patients with OSA. Of note, distance between lingual arteries (DLA), geniohyoid muscle thickness (GMT), and lateral parapharyngeal wall thickness (LPWT) were significantly greater in the patients with severe OSA than those with mild and moderate OSA (P < .001). GMT had the strongest correlation with OSA (r = 0.419, P < .001); LPWT and DLA also had high correlation coefficient values (r = 0.343, P < .001, and r = 0.342, P < .001, respectively). Stepwise regression analysis showed that GMT (beta = 0.243, P = 0.004), LPWT (beta = 0.236, P = 0.004), and DLA (beta = 0.204, P = 0.008) were the most significant factors for predicting the severity of OSA according to the apnea-hypopnea index.


Submental US can be used to determine whether there is a correlation between US findings and severity of OSA. GMT could be considered a novel parameter for determining the severity of OSA.

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