Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and olfactory perception: an OERP study

Sara Invitto, Antonio Calcagnì, Giulia Piraino, Vincenzo Ciccarese, Michela Balconi*, Marina De Tommaso, Domenico Maurizio Toraldo

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSA) is characterized by snoring associated with repeated apnea and/or obstructive hypopnea. The nasal airways of OSA patients, measured via acoustic rhinometry, could be significantly narrower than healthy subjects and this reduced nasal structure can impair olfactory function. The relationship between nasal structure and olfactory function, assessed via behavioral test results, indicates that there is a high prevalence of nasal airflow problems. Based on these assumptions, the purpose of this study was to carry out an assessment of olfactory perception in OSA patients through the Chemosensory Event-Related Potentials (CSERP), investigating the N1 component and the Late Positive Component (LPC). Twelve OSA patients, non-smokers, were recruited in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, scored with the Epworth Sleepiness Scales, after Polygraphic Recording, Apnea Hypopnea Index and Body Mass Index evaluation. The control group consisted of twelve healthy controls, non-smokers, recruited as volunteers. Subjects, during an EEG recording, performed an oddball olfactory recognition task based on two scents: rose and eucalyptus. Main results highlighted differences in N1 and LPC between OSA and controls. OSA patients presented faster N1 latencies and greater amplitude. The same trend was found in LPC, where OSA showed decreased latency and increased amplitude during rose stimulation, in the right inferior frontal cortex. and faster latencies in left centroparietal cortex OERP results can suggest an impairment in endogenous components. This result could be the consequence of the exogenous perceptual difficulty highlighted in N1 component. The increased arousal could also be related to the respiratory activity involved during the olfactory task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • LPC
  • N1
  • OSAS
  • Olfactory Assessment
  • Olfactory ERPs
  • Respiratory disorders


Dive into the research topics of 'Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and olfactory perception: an OERP study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this