Polysomnography reveals unexpectedly high rates of organic sleep disorders in patients with prediagnosed primary insomnia

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Regensburg, Universitaetsstraße 84, 93042, Regensburg, Germany, .
Sleep And Breathing (Impact Factor: 2.48). 10/2011; 16(4). DOI: 10.1007/s11325-011-0608-8
Source: PubMed


It is a matter of debate whether patients with primary insomnia require a polysomnographic examination in order to exclude specific sleep disorders such as sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) or periodic limb movements (PLM). Using a prospective design, we investigated the prevalence of organic sleep disorders by means of polysomnography (PSG) in a series of patients who were previously diagnosed with primary insomnia. This diagnosis was based on a clinical exam and an ambulatory monitoring device or previous PSG.
Seventy-seven women and 16 men (mean age 55.12 ± 13.21 years) who were admitted for cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia were evaluated by PSG including cardiorespiratory parameters and tibialis EMG. Among them, 50 patients had undergone a clinical exam by a sleep specialist; in 18 patients, actigraphy or portable monitoring had been performed to exclude SAS or PLM; 25 patients had undergone PSG in another sleep lab previously.
In 32 patients (34% of the sample), a PSG revealed a specific sleep disorder (SAS 16; PLMD 11; both 5), resulting in therapeutic consequences for 21 patients (SAS 10; PLMD 9; both 2). SAS and PLM patients were older and SAS patients had a higher body mass index than insomnia patients without additional findings.
Indications for a PSG should be handled less restrictively in the diagnostic workup of older insomnia patients since they have a higher risk of comorbid sleep disorders even in the absence of the clinical signs of SAS or PLM.

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    • "There are also situations in which chronic insomnia is diagnosed while underlying sleep disorders remain unnoticed. In cases where, based on screening or clinical interview, the presence of a comorbid sleep disorder is suspected, or when the insomnia symptoms persist despite adequate treatment, polysomnography is warranted (Cronlein et al, 2012). The diagnosis of insomnia in the context of other illnesses and sleep disorders is therefore complex and should be guided by an appreciation of its pathophysiology as well as by data obtained from polysomnography. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent scientific evidences have brought a paradigm shift in our approach towards the concepts of insomnia and its management. The differentiation between primary and secondary insomnia was proved more hypothetical than actual and based upon the current evidences insomnia subtypes described in earlier system have been lumped into one-Insomnia Disorder. Research in this field suggests that insomnia occurring during psychiatric or medical disorders has a bidirectional and interactive relationship with and coexisting medical and psychiatric illnesses. The new approach looks to coexisting psychiatric or medical disorders as comorbid conditions and hence specifying two coexisting conditions. Therefore, the management and treatment plans should address both conditions. A number of sleep disorders may present with insomnia like symptoms and these disorders should be treated efficiently in order to alleviate insomnia symptoms. In such cases, a thorough history from the patient and his/her bed-partner is warranted. Moreover, some patients may need polysomnography or other diagnostic tests like actigraphy to confirm the diagnosis of the underlying sleep disorder. DSM-5 classification system of sleep-wake disorders has several advantages, e.g., it has seen insomnia across different dimensions to make it clinically more useful; it focuses on the assessment of severity and guides the mental health professional when to refer a patient of insomnia to a sleep specialist; lastly, it may encourage the psychiatrists to opt for the Sleep Medicine as a career.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Asian Journal of Psychiatry

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Sleep And Breathing
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Few studies have examined the co-morbidity between insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing in the clinical setting. This study evaluated treatment-seeking insomnia patients and their self-report of sleep breathing complaints. Methods A retrospective chart review was conducted on 1,035 consecutive treatment-seeking, chronic insomnia patients who reported insomnia as their primary problem upon seeking care at a private, community-based sleep medical center. Measurements included the insomnia severity index, standard subjective sleep measures as well as rankings, attributions, and self-reports about sleep breathing disorders, problems, and symptoms. Results A total of 1,035 adult, treatment-seeking insomnia patients indicated insomnia interfered with daytime functioning, and their average insomnia severity was in the range of a clinically relevant problem: total sleep time (5.50 h, SD = 1.60), sleep efficiency (71.05 %, SD = 18.26), wake time after sleep onset (120.70 min, SD = 92.56), and an insomnia severity index (18.81, SD = 5.09). Of these 1,035 insomnia patients, 42 % also ranked a sleep breathing disorder among their list of reasons for seeking treatment, another 13 % revealed a concern about a sleep breathing problem, and another 26 % reported awareness of sleep breathing symptoms. Only 19 % of this clinical insomnia sample reported no awareness or concerns about sleep breathing disorders, problems, or symptoms. A greater proportion of men than women reported significantly more sleep breathing disorders, problems, or symptoms. Conclusions Sleep breathing complaints were extremely common among a large sample of treatment-seeking, self-identified, adult chronic insomnia patients. Prospective prevalence research is needed to corroborate or revise these findings, and polysomnography should be considered in appropriate cohorts to determine the clinical relevance of treatment-seeking chronic insomnia patients' sleep breathing complaints.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Sleep And Breathing
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