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Anesth Analg. 2017 Oct;125(4):1301-1308. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002344.

Association of STOP-Bang Questionnaire as a Screening Tool for Sleep Apnea and Postoperative Complications: A Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-analysis of Prospective and Retrospective Cohort Studies.

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From the *Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph Health Care, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; and †Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The risk of postoperative complications increases with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The high-risk OSA (HR-OSA) patients can be easily identified using the STOP-Bang screening tool. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the association of postoperative complications in patients screened as HR-OSA versus low-risk OSA (LR-OSA).


The following data bases were searched from January 1, 2008, to October 31, 2016, to identify the eligible articles: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Databases of Systematic Reviews, Medline-in-Process & other nonindexed citations, Google Scholar, Embase, Web of Sciences and Scopus. The search included studies with adult surgical patients screened for OSA with STOP-Bang questionnaire that reported at least 1 cardiopulmonary or any other complication requiring intensive care unit admission as diagnosis of outcome. We used a Bayesian random-effects analysis to evaluate the existing evidence of STOP-Bang in relation to OSA and to assess the association of postoperative complications with the identified HR-OSA patients by study design and methodologies.


This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using 10 cohort studies: 23,609 patients (HR-OSA, 7877; LR-OSA, 15,732). The pooled odds of perioperative complications were higher in the HR-OSA versus LR-OSA patients (odds ratio 3.93, 95% credible interval, 1.85-7.77, P= .003; 6.86% vs 4.62%). The length of hospital stay was longer in HR-OSA by 2 days when compared with LR-OSA (5.0 ± 4.2 vs 3.4 ± 2.8 days; mean difference 2.01; 95% credible interval, 0.77-3.24; P= .005). Meta-regression to adjust for baseline confounding factors and subgroup analysis did not materially change the results.


This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that HR-OSA is related with higher risk of postoperative adverse events and longer length of hospital stay when compared with LR-OSA patients. Our findings support the implementation of the STOP-Bang screening tool for perioperative risk stratification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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