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Eur Respir J. 2008 Oct;32(4):1060-7. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00130907. Epub 2008 May 14.

Validation of a single-channel airflow monitor for screening of sleep-disordered breathing.

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Dept of Pulmonology, Fukuoka National Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.


A simple screening method for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is desirable for primary care practices. In the present study, a simple monitor, which utilises a new type of flow sensor and a novel algorithm, was prospectively validated. Home recording for 2 nights with the monitor only, followed by in-laboratory recording with the monitor together with polysomnography, were carried out in consecutive patients (n = 100) suspected of SDB. A subjective sleep log was also recorded. The signal was analysed using power spectral analysis, which yielded the flow respiratory disturbance index (flow-RDI). There was no recording failure at home. The reproducibility of the flow-RDI between the 2 nights at home was high (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.92). The sensitivity and specificity of the in-laboratory flow-RDI to diagnose SDB were 0.96 and 0.82, 0.91 and 0.82, and 0.89 and 0.96, for apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI) > or =5, > or =15 and > or =30 events x h(-1), respectively. The diagnostic ability in low-severity subgroups (female, normal weight, AHI <15 events x h(-1)) was almost comparable to that in the entire group. Excluding subjective waking time on the sleep log from the recording time had no significant effect on the flow-RDI. The single-channel monitor is considered feasible for ambulatory sleep disordered breathing monitoring because of its easy applicability, high reproducibility and relatively high agreement with polysomnography results.

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