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JCM, Vol. 11, Pages 99: Osteopathic Manipulation of the Sphenopalatine Ganglia Versus Sham Manipulation, in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrom: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Journal of Clinical Medicine doi: 10.3390/jcm11010099

Authors:
Valérie Attali
Olivier Jacq
Karine Martin
Isabelle Arnulf
Thomas Similowski

(1) Background: osteopathic manipulation of the sphenopalatine ganglia (SPG) blocks the action of postganglionic sensory fibres. This neuromodulation can reduce nasal obstruction and enhance upper airway stability. We investigated the manipulation of the SPG in 31 patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS); (2) Methods: Randomised, controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Participants received active (AM), then sham manipulation (SM), or vice versa. The primary endpoint was apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI). Secondary endpoints were variation of nasal obstruction evaluated by peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) and upper airways stability evaluated by awake critical closing pressure [awake Pcrit]), at 30 minutes and 24 hours. Schirmer’s test and pain were assessed immediately post-manipulation. Tactile/gustatory/olfactory/auditory/nociceptive/visual sensations were recorded. Adverse events were collected throughout. (3) Results: SPG manipulation did not reduce AHI (p = 0·670). PNIF increased post-AM but not post-SM at 30 minutes (AM-SM: 18 [10; 38] L/min, p = 0.0001) and 24 hours (23 [10; 30] L/min, p = 0.001). There was no significant difference on awake Pcrit (AM-SM) at 30 minutes or 24 hours). Sensations were more commonly reported post-AM (100% of patients) than post-SM (37%). Few adverse events and no serious adverse events were reported. (4) Conclusions: SPG manipulation is not supported as a treatment for OSAS but reduced nasal obstruction. This effect remains to be confirmed in a larger sample before using this approach to reduce nasal congestion in CPAP-treated patients or in mild OSAS.

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