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Electrical impedance as a tool for non-invasive assessment of upper airway in respiratory sleep disorders

Grant number: 11/51265-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2011
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Geraldo Lorenzi Filho
Grantee:Vivien Schmeling Piccin
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by recurrent episodes of partial or total obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, with a high prevalence in the general population and serious health consequences. Polysomnography is the gold standard method for OSA diagnosis. However, there is a lack of noninvasive methods for monitoring the upper airway during sleep. Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) is an innovative and noninvasive method that is under investigation in the Pulmonary Division of the Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, for on line evaluation of lung ventilation with several patents and publications in high impact journals. TIE allows continuous viewing of the lungs in models of respiratory failure, by utilizing surface electrodes placed on the chest. In this project, we will adapt the TIE method to analyze the upper airway during sleep. In order to develop and validate TIE for upper airway evaluation during polysomnography this project will be developed in four steps: 1. Configuration of the impedance system to be used on the neck; 2. TIE validation to visualize the upper airway between different biotypes; 3. TIE image validation during induced sleep; 4. TIE validation during routine polysomnography. The project will provide an innovative tool, with revolutionary technology, low cost and ease-to-use system that will display online and noninvasively the patency of the upper airway during sleep. The TIE has a great potential, including the improvement of OSA diagnosis, providing novel data for the understanding of OSA pathophysiology. (AU)

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