Correlation Between Calculated/Predicted and Actual AHI After Positional Therapy

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Prediction of treatment outcome is crucial for all OSA treatment modalities, as this may prevent unnecessary costs and “trial and error” treatment choices. This is an important item of the clinical reality involving OSA patients. With this in mind, the crucial question that still remains unanswered is: Can the effect of positional therapy be predicted from the (baseline) sleep study? What treatment outcome is to be expected in which patient? What is the predictive value of the baseline non-supine AHI? This item is subject to different theories and hypotheses and will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

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Background: Positional obstructive sleep apnoea (POSA), defined as a supine apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) twice or more as compared to the AHI in the other positions, occurs in 56 % of obstructive sleep apnoea patients. Positional therapy (PT) is one of several available treatment options for these patients. So far, PT has been hampered by compliance problems, mainly because of the usage of bulky masses placed in the back. In this article, we present a novel device for treating POSA patients. Methods: Patients older than 18 years with mild to moderate POSA slept with the Sleep Position Trainer (SPT), strapped to the chest, for a period of 29 ± 2 nights. SPT measures the body position and vibrates when the patient lies in supine position. Results: Thirty-six patients were included; 31 patients (mean age, 48.1 ± 11.0 years; mean body mass index, 27.0 ± 3.7 kg/m(2)) completed the study protocol. The median percentage of supine sleeping time decreased from 49.9 % [20.4-77.3 %] to 0.0 % [range, 0.0-48.7 %] (p < 0.001). The median AHI decreased from 16.4 [6.6-29.9] to 5.2 [0.5-46.5] (p < 0.001). Fifteen patients developed an overall AHI below five. Sleep efficiency did not change significantly. Epworth Sleepiness Scale decreased significantly. Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire increased significantly. Compliance was found to be 92.7 % [62.0-100.0 %]. Conclusions: The Sleep Position Trainer applied for 1 month is a highly successful and well-tolerated treatment for POSA patients, which diminishes subjective sleepiness and improves sleep-related quality of life without negatively affecting sleep efficiency. Further research, especially on long-term effectiveness, is ongoing.
Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome is a common clinical problem. Positional sleep apnoea syndrome, defined as having a supine apnoea-hypopnoea index of twice or more compared to the apnoea-hypopnoea index in the other positions, occurs in 56% of obstructive sleep apnoea patients. A limited number of studies focus on decreasing the severity of sleep apnoea by influencing sleep position. In these studies an object was strapped to the back (tennis balls, squash balls, special vests), preventing patients from sleeping in the supine position. Frequently, this was not successful due to arousals while turning from one lateral position to the other, thereby disturbing sleep architecture and sleep quality. We developed a new neck-worn device which influences sleep position by offering a vibration when in supine position, without significantly reducing total sleep time. Thirty patients with positional sleep apnoea were included in this study. No side effects were reported. The mean apnoea-hypopnoea index dropped from 27.7 ± 2.4 to 12.8 ± 2.2. Seven patients developed an overall apnoea-hypopnoea index below 5 when using the device in ON modus. We expect that positional therapy with such a device can be applied as a single treatment in many patients with mild to moderate position-dependent obstructive sleep apnoea, while in patients with a more severe obstructive sleep apnoea such a device could be used in combination with other treatment modalities.
Evaluation of a new simple treatment for positional sleep apnoea patients
  • J P Van Maanen
  • Richard W Van Kesteren
  • JP van Maanen
The sleep position trainer: a new treatment for positional obstructive sleep apnoea
  • J P Van Maanen
  • K Meester
  • L Dun
  • JP van Maanen