OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between findings of blinded reviews of preoperative drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) examinations using the VOTE Classification and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) surgical outcomes in a large multicenter, international cohort.METHODS: Retrospective, multi-center cohort study of adults without tonsillar hypertrophy who underwent pharyngeal surgery for OSA. The study included only participants without enlarged tonsils. Four independent reviewers performed blinded review of preoperative DISE videos using the VOTE Classification system and scoring of a primary structure contributing to airway obstruction. DISE findings were examined for an association with surgical outcomes with univariate analyses and multiple regression.RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-five study participants were included from 14 centers. Mean age was 51.4±11.8 years, and body mass index was 30.1±5.2kg/m2 . There was moderate interrater reliability (kappa=0.40-0.60) for DISE findings. Oropharyngeal lateral wall-related obstruction was associated with poorer surgical outcomes (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.51; 95% CI 0.27, 0.93). Complete tongue-related obstruction was associated with a lower odds of surgical response in moderate to severe OSA (AOR 0.52; 95% CI 0.28, 0.98), with findings that were similar but not statistically significant in other analyses. Surgical outcomes were not clearly associated with the degree and configuration of velum-related obstruction or the degree of epiglottis-related obstruction. Surgical response was associated with tonsil size and body mass index (inversely).CONCLUSION: DISE findings concerning the oropharyngeal lateral walls and tongue may be the most important findings of this evaluation technique.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2b Laryngoscope, 2018.
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