Self-reported improvement in obstructive sleep apnea symptoms compared to treatment response with mandibular advancement device therapy: a retrospective study

Linda Sangalli, Fernanda Yanez-Regonesi, Diego Fernandez-Vial, Isabel Moreno-Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Mandibular advancement device (MAD) is recognized as the treatment option for management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in mild-moderate cases or those unable to tolerate positive airway pressure therapy. Post-treatment sleep study is recommended to establish MAD efficacy when maximal therapeutic benefit is achieved based on OSA symptom improvement or maximum anatomical protrusion. The aim of this study was to investigate the difference between responders and non-responders in OSA symptom improvement and predictors of treatment success. Methods: Medical charts of patients referred to the Orofacial Pain Clinic between 2016 and 2021 for management of OSA with MAD were retrospectively evaluated. Participants with post-treatment sleep study with MAD in situ were included. Participants were categorized as responders according to different criteria: 50% reduction in apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) compared to baseline; post-treatment AHI ≤ 10 with ≥ 50% reduction from baseline; AHI ≤ 5 with ≥ 50% reduction. OSA symptoms included snoring, apneas, sleep quality, tiredness upon awakening, daytime sleepiness, and subjective improvement. Differences in pre- and post-treatment variables within/between groups and predictors were analyzed with t test and logistic regression. Results: Among 53 participants (30 females), mean age was 64.2 ± 10.7 and pre-treatment was AHI 23.3 ± 17.2. Depending upon the criteria, responders ranged between 26 and 57%. At first follow-up after MAD delivery, non-responders reported less tiredness upon awakening (p = 0.003), better sleep quality (p = 0.005), and greater subjective improvement (p = 0.012) than responders. Among significant OSA symptoms, tiredness upon awakening, poorer sleep quality, and less subjective improvement were consistently found as predictors of treatment response. Conclusion: Subjective improvement, sleep quality, and tiredness upon awakening significantly improved in non-responders at first follow-up compared to responders, according to the strictest definition of treatment response. Therefore, a post-treatment sleep study is crucial to confirm proper management of OSA with MAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1588
Number of pages12
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Mandibular advancement device
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Predictors
  • Responders
  • Treatment success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology


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