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Richard J. Schwab, MD

Richard J. Schwab, MD

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Medicine

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
3624 Market Street, Suite 205
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 662-7772
Fax: (215) 615-4874
Haverford College, 1979.
M.D. (Medicine)
University of Pennsylvania, 1983.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Schwab’s research has focused on the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea utilizing novel upper airway imaging techniques. His studies help elucidate the role of the motion of key structures of the upper airway in mediating airway closure. By examining dynamic state-related changes in the upper airway and soft tissue structures surrounding the upper airway he has begun to understand the biomechanics of apneic events. He has studied patients with both magnetic resonance imaging and electronic beam computed tomography during wakefulness and sleep. Several novel findings have resulted from these studies: 1) the anatomic significance of the lateral pharyngeal walls in mediating airway caliber in normals and apneics; and 2) the characterization of the changes in upper airway caliber during the respiratory cycle and the importance of end-expiratory airway narrowing. Dr. Schwab collaborates closely with members of the Departments of Radiology and Biomechanical and Computer Engineering. They have developed state-of-the-art, computer graphics-based analysis software to help model in three dimensions the biomechanical interrelationships between the soft tissue structures and the upper airway.

Selected Publications

Erica R. Thaler, MD; Richard J. Schwab, MD : Single Institution Experience and Learning Curve with UAS. The Laryngoscope 126(S7): S17-S19, July 2016.

Imran H. Iftikhar1, Lia Bittencourt, Shawn D. Youngstedt, Najib Ayas, Peter Cistulli, Richard Schwab, Martin W. Durkin, Ulysses J. Magalang : Comparative efficacy of CPAP, MADs, exercise-training and dietary weight loss for sleep apnea: a network meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine In Press: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2016.06.001, June 2016.

Magalang, UJ, Arnardottir, ES, Chen, NH, Cistulli, PA, Gislason, T, Lim, D, Penzel T, Schwab, RJ, Tufik, S, and Pack, AI : Agreement in the Scoring of Respiratory Events Among International Sleep Centers for Home Sleep Testing. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 12(1): 71-77, January 2016 Notes: pii: jc-00179-15 [Epub ahead of print]

Chiffer, RC, Schwab, RJ, Keenan, BT, Borek, RC, Thaler, ER: Volumetric MRI Analysis Pre and Post Transoral Robotic Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA-TORS). The Laryngoscope April 2015 (in press).

Rodgers, ZB, , Leinwand SE, Keenan BT, Kini LG, Schwab RJ, Wehrli FW: Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) in obstructive sleep apnea at rest and in response to breath-hold challenge. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 2015 (in press).

Schwab, RJ, Kim, C, Bagchi, S, Keenan, BT, Comyn, FL, Wang, S, Tapia, IE, Huang, S, Traylor, J, Torigian, DA, Bradford, RM, Marcus, CL: Understanding the Anatomic Basis for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Adolescents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 191(11): 1295-1309, June 2015.

Pisani, MA, Friese, RS, Gehlbach, BK, Schwab, RJ, Weinhouse, GL, Jones, SF: Sleep in the Intensive Care Unit. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 191(7): 731-738, April 2015.

Kim, A, Keenan, BT, Jackson, N, Chan, EL, Staley, B, Poptani, H, Torigian, DA, Pack, AI, Schwab, RJ : Tongue Fat and its Relationship to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. SLEEP 37(10): 1639-1648, October 2014.

Kauta, SR, Keenan, BT, Goldberg, L, Schwab, RJ: Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disordered Breathing in Hospitalized Cardiac Patients: A Reduction in 30-Day Hospital Readmission Rates. J Clin Sleep Med 10(10): 1051-9, October 2014.

Sands, SA, Eckert, DJ, Jordan, AS, Edwards, BA, Owens, RL, Butler, JP, Schwab, RJ, Loring, SH, Malhotra, A, White, DP, Wellman, A: Enhanced Upper-airway Muscle Responsiveness is a Distinct Feature of Overweight/Obese Individuals Without Sleep Apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 190(8): 930-7, October 2014.

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Last updated: 11/15/2016
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