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October 10, 2023
The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO—HNSF) stands as a leading global organization, representing a community of experts dedicated to addressing medical concerns related to the ears, nose, throat, and other complex structures within the head and neck. With a membership of around 13,000 professionals, the Academy is committed to fostering excellence in healthcare for ear, nose, and throat issues, grounded in evidence-based practices and equitable care. As part of its mission of engaging members through education and research, the AAO—HNSF hosts an annual meeting featuring a distinguished lineup of experts who delve into cutting-edge treatment modalities, emerging therapies, and advancements in the field. This year's meeting was complimented by research conducted by MCW Medical Students Devesh Kumar and Ahmad Hamdan working under the direction of Dr. Guillherme Garcia at the Marquette-MCW Airway Biomechanics Laboratory.
Kumar discussed his research efforts titled, "Phenotypes of Velopharyngeal Tube Law in Obstructive Sleep Apnea," a study involving 13 patients grappling with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This research delved into the behavior of the upper airway during drug-induced sedated endoscopy (DISE) and unveiled three distinct patterns of velopharyngeal collapse among OSA patients. The findings are significant in that they suggest individuals with OSA may possess varying biomechanical properties in their airways. Elucidating such distinctions stands to advance the specificity of therapeutic interventions for individuals affected by OSA.
Hamdan presented research titled, "Identifying flow variables that best correlate with subjective nasal patency." In this study, researchers used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to study nasal airflow in patients with nasal airway obstruction (NAO) and healthy subjects. They found that certain CFD variables, particularly middle airflow in a specific nasal region, were highly effective at distinguishing NAO patients from healthy individuals, suggesting that these models could aid in surgical planning for NAO treatment in the future.
Kumar and Hamdan's research is overseen by Dr. Guillherme Garcia, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Airway Biomechanics Laboratory at the Marquette-MCW Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Kumar's research enjoys additional oversight provided by Dr. B. Tucker Woodson, professor in MCW's Department of Otolaryngology and Communications Sciences and practicing otolaryngologist at Froedtert Hospital. Hamdan's research is assisted by Dr. John S Rhee, professor and chair in MCW's Department of Otolaryngology and Communications Sciences and facial plastic surgeon at the FORME Aesthetic and Vein Center at Froedtert Hospital, and Dr. Masoud Gh. Moghaddam, display investigation engineer at Apple.
For more information regarding this or other research underway in the Marquette-MCW Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, visit the research section of the MU-MCW BME website or visit the Airway Lab website.