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Chest. 2003 Jan;123(1):96-101.

Reference values for nocturnal home pulse oximetry during sleep in primary school children.

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Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Neonatology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.



To provide reference values for pulse oximeter saturation (SpO(2)) in primary school children, measured at home during sleep.


Recordings of SpO(2) and signal quality from 100 children were randomly selected from a larger population-based sample intended to study the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing. Recordings were analyzed for the duration of artifact-free recording time (AFRT), minimum SpO(2) (SATmin) and median SpO(2) (SAT(50)), the SpO(2) below which the child spent 5% of AFRT (SAT(5)), and the SpO(2) below which the child spent 10% of AFRT (SAT(10)). In addition, the time in seconds with SpO(2) <or= 90% per hour of AFRT (TI(90)) was calculated, as were the number of falls in SpO(2) by >or= 4% per hour of AFRT (DI(4)), the number of falls in SpO(2) to <or= 90% per hour of AFRT (DI(90)), and the number of falls in SpO(2) to <or= 92% per hour of AFRT (DI(92)).


Ten recordings had to be excluded because of insufficient AFRT (< 5 h). Mean age of the remaining 90 children (54 girls) was 9.3 years (SD, 0.6). Median (range; fifth centile) values for SATmin, SAT(5), SAT(10), and SAT(50) were 93% (76 to 97; 87.5), 97% (88 to 99; 95), 97% (89 to 99; 96), and 98% (94 to 100; 97). Median values (range; 95th centile) for TI(90), DI(4), DI(90), and DI(92) were 0.0 s (0.0 to 5.8; 1.6), 0.8 (0.0 to 6.1; 3.9), 0.0 (0.0 to 1.2; 0.2), and 0.0 (0.0 to 2.0; 0.6).


Baseline SpO(2) values < 97% were uncommon in these children, as were intermittent desaturations to <or= 90%. These data may serve as a basis for the interpretation of clinical recordings of SpO(2) in children referred for sleep-related breathing disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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