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J Sleep Res. 2011 Mar;20(1 Pt 2):201-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2010.00859.x.

Sleep efficiency during sleep studies: results of a prospective study comparing home-based and in-hospital polysomnography.

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Chest Service, Saint-Pierre University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.


To date, the clinical use of unattended home-based polysomnography (PSG) is not recommended. To assess whether sleep efficiency is better at home, we have performed a prospective, crossover, single-blind study comparing unattended home- versus attended in-hospital PSG in a population referred for high clinical suspicion of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSA). Within 2 weeks, all the patients underwent both PSG performed by the same sleep technician, which were analysed by another blinded technician. Payments for each procedure were also calculated. Sixty-six patients (mean age: 49±13 years; mean body mass index: 30±7; mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale: 10±5) were included. The quality of recordings was poor in 1.5% of the attended PSG versus 4.7% for unattended PSG (P=0.36). Sleep efficiency at home was better (82% versus 75%, P<0.001), and sleep duration longer (412 min versus 365 min, P<0.001). Sleep latency was also shorter at home (28 min versus 45 min, P=0.004), and patients spent more time in rapid eye movement sleep (19% versus 16%, P=0.006). Apnoea-hypopnoea index (23 versus 26, P=0.08) was similar at home and in the sleep lab. Sixty-seven per cent of patients preferred home-based PSG. PSG payment was also lower at home (268 Euros versus 1057 Euros). We conclude that home-based PSG is associated with a better sleep efficiency. It also appears as feasible and reliable in patients with high preclinical suspicion for OSA. It is also more comfortable for the patients whose sleep efficiency is better and allows cost saving related to the absence of hospitalization.

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