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Sleep Med. 2011 Feb;12(2):147-52. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.06.011. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

A convenient expiratory positive airway pressure nasal device for the treatment of sleep apnea in patients non-adherent with continuous positive airway pressure.

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Sleep Medicine and Research Center, St. Luke's Hospital, 232 S. Woods Mill Rd., Chesterfield, MO, USA.



While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) effectively treats obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), adherence to CPAP is suboptimal. The short-term efficacy of and adherence with a convenient expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) nasal device was evaluated in OSA patients non-adherent with CPAP.


Participants were OSA patients who refused CPAP or used CPAP less than 3 h per night. After demonstrating tolerability to the EPAP device during approximately 1 week of home use, patients underwent a screening/baseline polysomnogram (PSG1) and a treatment PSG (PSG2). Patients meeting prespecified efficacy criteria underwent PSG3 after about 5 weeks of EPAP treatment.


Forty-seven of 59 eligible patients (80%) tolerated the device and underwent PSG1. Forty-three patients (27 m, 16f; 53.7±10.9 years) met AHI entry criteria and underwent PSG2. Mean AHI decreased from 43.3±29.0 at baseline to 27.0±26.7 (p<0.001) at PSG2. Twenty-four patients (56%) met efficacy criteria; their mean AHI was 31.9±19.8, 11.0±7.9, 16.4±12.2 at PSG1, PSG2, and PSG3, respectively (p<0.001, PSG1 vs. both PSG2 and PSG3). Mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) scores were 12.3±4.8 at baseline, 11.1±5.1 at PSG1, and 8.7±4.4 at PSG3 (p=0.001 compared to baseline). Device use was reported an average of 92% of all sleep hours.


The improvements in AHI and ESS, combined with the high degree of treatment adherence observed, suggest that the convenient EPAP device tested may become a useful therapeutic option for OSA.

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