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Volume 10 No. 07
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Accepted Papers

Case Reports

Elevated Body Position Early after Delivery Increased Airway Size during Wakefulness, and Decreased Apnea Hypopnea Index in a Woman with Pregnancy Related Sleep Apnea

Stefanie Jung, M.D.1,2; Sebastian Zaremba, M.D.1,3; Anne Heisig1; Matthias Eikermann, M.D., Ph.D.1,4
1Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 2Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Urology, DRK- Kinderklinik Siegen, Teaching Hospital of Philipps University, Marburg, Germany; 3Sleep Medicine, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University, Bonn, Germany; 4Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

We report a patient with pregnancy related obstructive sleep apnea ([OSA]; apnea hypopnea index [AHI] 18/h) early after delivery, with improvement of AHI by 87% following 45-degree elevation in body position compared with the non-elevated position. Improvement associated with this position may be explained, at least in part, by an increased upper airway diameter (as measured during wakefulness). Sleep apnea in this patient resolved at 9 months postpartum. This observation suggests that 45-degree elevated body position may be an effective treatment of pregnancy related OSA during the postpartum period.


Jung S, Zaremba S, Heisig A, Eikermann M. Elevated body position early after delivery increased airway size during wakefulness, and decreased apnea hypopnea index in a woman with pregnancy related sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(7):815-817.

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