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J Med Eng Technol. 2019 Feb;43(2):111-123. doi: 10.1080/03091902.2019.1617799. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Using tracheal breathing sounds and anthropometric information for screening obstructive sleep apnoea during wakefulness.

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a Biomedical Engineering Program , University of Manitoba , Winnipeg , Canada.
b Respirology Department , University of Manitoba , Winnipeg , Canada.
c Electrical and Computer Engineering Department , University of Manitoba , Winnipeg , Canada.


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common yet underdiagnosed disorder. Undiagnosed OSA significantly increases perioperative morbidity and mortality for OSA patients undergoing surgery, requiring full anaesthesia. Tracheal breathing sounds characteristics during wakefulness have shown a high correlation with the apnoea-hypopnea index (AHI), while they are also affected by the anthropometric parameters, e.g., sex, age, etc. This study investigates the effects of the anthropometric parameters on our new quick objective OSA screening tool during wakefulness. Breathing sounds of 122 individuals (71 with AHI <15 as non-OSA and 51 with AHI > 15 as OSA) were recorded during wakefulness in the supine position. The spectra and bi-spectra of 81 (47 non-OSA) individuals' signals, which were randomly selected, were analysed as a training dataset to extract the most significant features with the lowest sensitivity to the anthropometric parameters. Using a support vector machine (SVM) classifier, these features resulted in 72.1, 64.7 and 77.5% testing classification accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, respectively. We also investigated classifying subjects into subgroups related to each anthropometric parameter and incorporating a voting procedure. This routine resulted in 83.6, 74.5 and 90.1% testing classification accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, respectively. In conclusion, it is possible to positively utilise the anthropometric information to enhance the classification accuracy for a reliable OSA screening procedure during wakefulness.


Obstructive sleep apnoea; STOP-Bang; anthropometric; classification ; polysomnography; screening; tracheal breathing sounds; wakefulness

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