open access

Vol 83, No 2 (2015)
CASE REPORTS
Submitted: 2015-03-10
Accepted: 2015-03-10
Get Citation

“Saw-Tooth Sign” in upper airway disorders — a case report

Sonu Sahni, Alexander Blood, Santhosh Paulus, Arunabh Talwar
DOI: 10.5603/PiAP.2015.0022
·
Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2015;83(2):140-143.

open access

Vol 83, No 2 (2015)
CASE REPORTS
Submitted: 2015-03-10
Accepted: 2015-03-10

Abstract

Spirometry flow-volume loop measurement is the screening test of choice to rule out obstructive lung diseases. Flow oscillations occasionally seen on flow volume loops, referred to as a “saw-tooth” sign, are thought to be due to an upper airway obstructive processes associated with upper airway collapsibility. Widely described in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, flow oscillations have also been linked to many other upper airway pathologies. The mechanism by which flow oscillations occur is centered on the inspiratory and expiratory flow of air. It has been theorized that the mechanism of flow oscillations result from rapid intermittent changes in driving pressure or airway resistance. Since visual inspection of the flow volume loop can reveal presence of flow oscillations clinicians should be aware of this phenomenon and the presence of flow loop oscillations should clue physicians to rule out upper airway pathology.

Abstract

Spirometry flow-volume loop measurement is the screening test of choice to rule out obstructive lung diseases. Flow oscillations occasionally seen on flow volume loops, referred to as a “saw-tooth” sign, are thought to be due to an upper airway obstructive processes associated with upper airway collapsibility. Widely described in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, flow oscillations have also been linked to many other upper airway pathologies. The mechanism by which flow oscillations occur is centered on the inspiratory and expiratory flow of air. It has been theorized that the mechanism of flow oscillations result from rapid intermittent changes in driving pressure or airway resistance. Since visual inspection of the flow volume loop can reveal presence of flow oscillations clinicians should be aware of this phenomenon and the presence of flow loop oscillations should clue physicians to rule out upper airway pathology.

Get Citation

Keywords

saw tooth sign, flow oscillations, spirometry, obstructive sleep apnea, upper airway disorder

About this article
Title

“Saw-Tooth Sign” in upper airway disorders — a case report

Journal

Advances in Respiratory Medicine

Issue

Vol 83, No 2 (2015)

Pages

140-143

DOI

10.5603/PiAP.2015.0022

Bibliographic record

Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2015;83(2):140-143.

Keywords

saw tooth sign
flow oscillations
spirometry
obstructive sleep apnea
upper airway disorder

Authors

Sonu Sahni
Alexander Blood
Santhosh Paulus
Arunabh Talwar

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