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OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate treatment outcome of mandibular advancement devices (MADs) for positional and nonpositional obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

STUDY DESIGN: Forty-two positional (supine apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] > or = 2 times lateral AHI) and 30 nonpositional (supine AHI < 2 times lateral AHI) OSA patients performed 2-nights of sleep study before and after insertion of MADs.

RESULTS: The decreases in apnea severity based on a reduction in the overall and supine AHI values after MADs therapy were significantly greater for the positional OSA than nonpositional OSA group. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that decrease in overall AHI was significantly associated with being in the positional group (standardized coefficient = 0.505). Age, body mass index, gender, and time in supine position during sleep did not show significant associations with decrease in overall AHI after MAD therapy.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that MADs are more effective in positional OSA than nonpositional OSA patients.