Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center is the first in Ohio and among the first in
the United States to offer a new FDA-approved treatment for
obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), say sources.
first-of-its-kind treatment consists of a small implantable system called
Inspire™ Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy. It has been clinically proven
to significantly reduce sleep apnea events and improve quality of life for
people who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
Case Medical Center was one of the clinical study sites for the Stimulation
Therapy for Apnea Reduction (The STAR Trial) study, and the findings were
published in the New England Journal of Medicine
(Jan. 9, 2014). The
STAR trial results showed that Inspire therapy reduced apnea events by 68
percent and significantly improved key quality of life measures.
than 18 million Americans suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is
characterized by repeated episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep.
Patients with OSA stop breathing frequently during sleep, often for a minute or
longer. "Sleep apnea is as prevalent as adult diabetes and asthma and the
consequences of OSA range from disruptive to life-threatening," said Kingman
Strohl, MD, who was the principal investigator for the study at UH and
co-author of the NEJM article. "While many patients have found help with CPAP,
for some patients it is too difficult to use, and thus ineffective."
therapy senses breathing and delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles,
which keeps the airway open during sleep. Using a handheld programmer, patients
can control when the Inspire therapy is turned on or off. In contrast to other
surgical procedures to treat sleep apnea, Inspire therapy does not require
removing or permanently altering a patient's facial or airway anatomy.
therapy is an important addition to the options that we can offer to patients
with obstructive sleep apnea," said Diana Ponsky, MD, an otolaryngologist who
will be one of the ear, nose, and throat surgeons implanting the system at UH.
"Untreated moderate to severe OSA places patients at increased risk for
cardiovascular disease, accidents, and death. Inspire therapy provides us with
an effective new treatment to use in a select group of our CPAP intolerant