What is the definition of obstructive apnea?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Obstructive apnea is the cessation of airflow for at least 10 seconds with persistent respiratory effort (see the image below).

Obstructive sleep apnea. Note the absence of flow Obstructive sleep apnea. Note the absence of flow (red arrow) despite paradoxical respiratory effort (green arrow).

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