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J Clin Neurophysiol. 2012 Apr;29(2):194-8. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e31824d96b0.

Sleep-related breathing disorders in cerebrovascular stroke and transient ischemic attacks: a comparative study.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Cairo University, Egypt.


Sleep-related breathing disorders are said to be common in patients with established cerebrovascular accidents. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and characteristics of sleep-related breathing disorders in ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attacks. All patients were subjected to neurologic assessment, Berlin questionnaire (Arabic version), brain computed tomographic scan, and polysomnography along 6 to 8 hours overnight with special emphasis to apnea/hypopnea indices. All assessments were done for 30 patients who had stroke and transient ischemic attacks as well as 20 age- and sex-matched controls. Overall, 13.3% of patients had mild sleep apnea (apnea/hypopnea index, >5), 13.3% had moderate sleep apnea (apnea/hypopnea index, >15), and 34% had severe sleep apnea (apnea/hypopnea index, >30). The sensitivity and specificity of Berlin questionnaire for obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis were 55% and 100%, respectively, for mild sleep apnea, 56.3% and 85.7% for moderate sleep apnea, 66.7% and 83.3% for severe condition. Berlin questionnaire is a moderate sensitive but highly specific screening test for sleep apnea in cerebrovascular diseases. Those who scored high risk should consider polysomnography to specify the type and severity of apnea.

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