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Neurology. 2000 Apr 25;54(8):1633-40.

Sleep reactivity during acute nasal CPAP in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

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  • 1Sleep Disorders Centre, Istituto di Neurologia, Universit√† di Parma, Italy.



To measure the readjustments of sleep macro- and microstructure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) after acute nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) treatment.


The conventional polysomnographic analysis (macrostructure of sleep) does not necessarily provide the best measures of sleep disruption associated with OSAS. In contrast, microstructural methods of analyzing sleep (i.e., arousals and cyclic alternating pattern) may improve evaluation of patients with OSAS.


- Ten patients with OSAS were monitored polygraphically before and during the first night of NCPAP therapy. The results were compared with those of 10 age- and sex-matched controls without sleep-related breathing disorders. Each nocturnal recording was followed by daytime observation using the multiple sleep latency test and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).


The first night of ventilatory therapy was characterized by a remarkable expansion of stages 3 and 4 and of REM sleep. In addition, NCPAP suppressed the presence of cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) in REM sleep and induced an impressive rebound of arousals and of certain CAP variables-i.e., CAP rate, CAP time, number of CAP cycles-which dropped well below the physiologic values expressed by controls. A normal duration of phases A and B was re-established starting the first treatment night. When we matched sleep variables with the indices of daytime function, a significant correlation emerged only between the variations of CAP rate and VAS scores. In particular, improvement of daytime sleepiness was less evident when the ventilatory-induced drop of CAP rate was more pronounced.


The application of CAP variables to the microstructural analysis of sleep may expand our knowledge regarding sleep and respiration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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