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Nihon Kyobu Shikkan Gakkai Zasshi. 1995 Dec;33 Suppl:46-9.

[Portable home monitoring system in screening for sleep-disordered breathing].

[Article in Japanese]

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Screening for sleep-disordered breathing is often done in an interview and with a questionnaire. This method is indirect and it appears to underestimate the prevalence of sleep apnea syndrome. Recently, several devices such as the Medilog and Vitalog portable monitoring systems were developed. However, these devices are difficult for patients to operate by themselves, because they include EEG monitoring or measurement of chest and abdominal movement. Therefore, we developed a portable monitoring system that is easier to operate. This system can be used to assess three variables: oronasal airflow, tracheal sound, and electrical activity of the heart. It stores the time of the onset of apnea, apnea duration, and R-R intervals with a built-in microcomputer. Apnea episodes, total apnea time, mean apnea time, and R-R interval are analyzed with a host computer. The sensitivity an specificity of this system are 92.5% and 87.5%, respectively, with an apnea index (AI) of less than 10 episodes/h. Using this device, we found that the prevalence of sleep apnea syndrome among Japanese industrial workers who had an AI of more than 10 episodes was 7.5%. Moreover, from 1984 to 1994 we used this device to monitor 1019 outpatients who complained of sleep disturbances such as snoring, abnormal breathing during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness, and found sleep apnea (AI > or = 10) in about 50% of these patients. This monitoring system is useful for screening of outpatients with sleep apnea and for epidemiological studies of sleep apnea. However, it may be necessary to include a non-invasive system for monitoring oxygen saturation in the portable sleep monitor, to detect hypoventilation during sleep.

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