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Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) has been used as treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis for LAUP alone as treatment for OSA in adults.Three authors searched five databases (including PubMed/MEDLINE) from inception through October 30, 2016 for peer-reviewed studies, with any design/language. A study quality assessment tool was used. The PRISMA statement was followed. A meta-analysis was performed.Twenty-three adult studies (717 patients) reported outcomes (age: 50 ± 9 years, body mass index: 29 ± 4 kg/m2). The pre- and post-LAUP means (M) ± standard deviations (SDs) for apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) were 28 ± 13 and 19 ± 12 events/h (32% reduction). Random effects modeling for 519 patients demonstrated an AHI mean difference (MD) of -6.56 [95% CI -10.14, -2.97] events/h. Individual patient data analyses demonstrate a 23% success rate (=50% reduction in AHI and <20 events/h) and an 8% cure rate. Additionally, 44% of patients had worsening of their AHI after LAUP. Lowest oxygen saturation (LSAT) improved from a M ± SD of 80 ± 8% to 82 ± 7%. A limitation is that most studies were case series studies and only two were randomized controlled trials.In this meta-analysis, LAUP reduced AHI by 32% among all patients; while the LSAT only changed minimally. Individual data demonstrated a success rate of 23%, cure rate of 8%, and worsening of the AHI among 44% of patients. We recommend that LAUP be performed with caution or not performed at all given the unfavorable results of currently published studies.
View details for DOI 10.1093/sleep/zsx004
View details for PubMedID 28201808