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Authors Reiher AE, Mazeh H, Schaefer S, Chen H, Sippel RS
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Journal Thyroid Volume: 22 Issue: 11 Pages: 1160-4
Publish Date 2012 Nov
PubMed ID 22827602

Patients with goiter often complain of compressive symptoms, which may contribute to symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, the impact of thyroid enlargement on these symptoms is not clear. Therefore, we sought to evaluate whether symptoms of sleep apnea resolved after thyroidectomy by using a validated questionnaire.The Berlin Questionnaire, a validated sleep apnea assessment tool, was provided to patients at a single academic institution before and after thyroidectomy. Patients who admitted to symptoms of snoring were asked to complete the questionnaire before and 8 weeks after surgery to assess for improvement in symptoms. The questionnaire uses 3 categories of questions to determine risk of sleep apnea. Two symptom categories must be positive for a patient to be considered high risk for sleep apnea.Forty-five patients completed both pre- and postoperative questionnaires. The average age of patients completing the questionnaire was 53±2 years, and 78% of patients were female. Average body mass index was 33.3±1.4 kg/m(2). Based on their preoperative questionnaire score, 71% of patients were considered to be high risk for OSA, and this decreased to 51% after surgery (p=0.002). Overall scores significantly improved after surgery (mean 2.0 vs. 1.6, p<0.0001). Specifically, patients noted a significant decrease in snoring frequency after surgery (p=0.002), as well as a significant decrease in whether or not their snoring bothered others (p=0.004). The frequency of nodding off during the day also significantly decreased after surgery (p=0.02). Among patients with ≥25% improvement compared with those with <25% improvement in scores, the only significant difference found was a higher preoperative thyrotropin among patients with <25% improvement (p=0.03). No significant difference was found between age, gender, presence of compressive symptoms, gland weight at resection, presence of thyroiditis, or the largest dimension of the gland at resection.Thyroid surgery appears to significantly improve symptoms of OSA in patients who screened positive for symptoms before surgery. Evaluation of patients with OSA should include evaluation of thyroid disease, as symptoms of sleep apnea may improve with thyroidectomy. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System