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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:4228-31. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944557.

Breathing sounds spectral and higher order statistics changes from wakefulness to sleep in apneic and non-apneic people.


Breathing sounds analysis conveys valuable information in relation to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during both sleep and wakefulness. In this study, we investigated whether the breathings sounds spectral and higher order statistics characteristics (HOS) change from wakefulness to sleep, and more importantly whether this change is associated with severity of OSA. Tracheal breathing sounds of 6 individuals with severe OSA and 6 non-OSA individuals during wakefulness and stage 2 of sleep, both in supine position, were used in this study. The sounds were recorded simultaneously with full overnight polysomnography (PSG) assessment. First, the sounds of 5 noise-free breathing cycles were extracted and sequestered into inspiratory and expiratory phase segments manually for each study subject. After normalizing each sound segment to its energy, spectral and HOS features were calculated. Several features including the median bispectral frequency (MBF), spectral bandwidth (BW) and bispectrum Harmonic Mean (HM) were found to change statistically significantly from wakefulness to sleep mostly in severe OSA group but not as much in non-OSA group. The most prominent and consistent change between the two groups of OSA and non-OSA was observed in MBF; it changed from wakefulness to sleep in the two groups in an opposite manner; this observation is congruent with the hypothesis that the upper airway in OSA population has an increased non-homogeneity.

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