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Distribution of Human Tongue Fat and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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Introduction Obstructive Sleep Apnea OSA is a prevalent in the United States, presents serious health risks and is directly correlated with obesity. Treatment options are limited by patient compliance and risks associated with surgical procedures. Adipose reduction may offer a less invasive treatment modality. Airway obstruction, related to tongue adiposity, represents a more accessible location to reduce adipose as potential treatment for OSA. Objective This study compiled complete histologic profile of the entire tongue to determine the locations of adipose tissue. Methods Six cadaver 3 full and 3 partial tongues were sectioned into anterior, middle and posterior. These were further sectioned into medial and lateral. Finally, these 6 sections were divided microscopically into dorsal and ventral to produce 12 distinct regions. The tissues were histologically prepared and examined using light microscopy 2x or 4x magnification to quantify the percentage and volume mm3 of adipose. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance ANOVA. Results This study demonstrated the ventral portion of the tongue had a significantly higher p0.001 concentration of adipose tissue compared to the dorsal tongue and in particular within the middle and posterior thirds. Conclusion The highest concentration of adipose was found in the middle and posterior thirds of the tongue, particularly in the ventral aspect. Knowledge of tongue adipose concentrations could provide crucial information to guide targeted therapies directed at tongue size to relieve airway obstruction in the treatment of OSA in the United States population including Active Duty and Retired Military personnel.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

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[A, Approved For Public Release]