Characteristics of apnea and hypopneas during sleep and relation to excessive daytime sleepiness

Sleep Disorders Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.
Sleep (Impact Factor: 4.59). 01/1999; 21(8):799-806.
Source: PubMed


One of the most important symptoms in patients evaluated for possible obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is excessive daytime sleepiness, but the measures of apnea severity and of sleepiness used most commonly have not generally shown strong associations. We explored whether information recorded during standard polysomnography, other than the overall rate of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep (AHI), might help explain the measured severity of sleepiness.
A clinical sleep laboratory in a university hospital
N = 1,146 patients evaluated for suspected sleep-disordered breathing with nocturnal polysomnograms and multiple sleep latency tests.
The AHI during supine sleep (recorded in a subgroup of n = 169 subjects), the rate of apneas (n = 1,146), and the rate of obstructive apneas (n = 1,146) were particularly useful in explaining variation in measured levels sleepiness; rates of hypopneas and central apneas were less useful (n = 1,146). In addition, the minimum recorded oxygen saturation (n = 1,097) was as important as the AHI to the level of sleepiness.
In an attempt to explain excessive daytime sleepiness among patients evaluated for sleep-disordered breathing, additional insight is provided by observation of supine sleep during polysomnography, by emphasis on apneas rather than hypopneas, by emphasis on obstructive rather than central events, and by consideration of the minimum oxygen saturation.

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