13.01.2022 | Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article
Phenotyping OSAH patients during wakefulness
L. Pini, R. Magri, E. Perger, G. Levi, L. Zambelli, J. Giordani, M. Ciarfaglia, C. Tantucci
Sleep and Breathing
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Although currently there are simplified methods to measure the pathophysiological traits that stimulate the occurrence and maintenance of obstructive sleep apnea–hypopnea (OSAH), they remain difficult to implement in routine practice. This pilot study aimed to find a simpler daytime approach to obtain a meaningful, similar pathophysiological phenotypic profile in patients with OSAH.
After obtaining diagnostic polygraphy from a group of consecutive patients with OSAH, we performed the dial-down CPAP technique during nocturnal polysomnography and used it as reference method. This allowed assessment of upper airway collapsibility, loop gain (LG), arousal threshold (AT), and upper airway muscle gain (UAG). We compared these results with a daytime protocol based on negative expiratory pressure (NEP) technique for evaluating upper airway collapsibility and UAG, on maximal voluntary apnea for LG, and on clinical predictors for AT.
Of 15 patients studied, 13 patients with OSAH accurately completed the two procedures. There were strong (all r2 > 0.75) and significant (all p < 0.001) correlations for each phenotypic trait between the measurements obtained through the reference method and those achieved during wakefulness.
It is possible to phenotype patients with OSAH from a pathophysiological point of view while they are awake. Using this approach, cutoff values corresponding to those usually adopted using the reference method can be identified to detect abnormal traits, achieving profiles similar to those obtained through the dial-down CPAP technique.