Autonomic Arousals as Surrogates for Cortical Arousals Caused by Respiratory Events: A Methodological Optimization Study in the Diagnosis of Sleep Breathing Disorders
Received 15 October 2019
Accepted for publication 4 December 2019
Published 19 December 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 423—431
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea
Pierre Mayer,1 Alberto Herrero Babiloni,1–4 Jean-Louis Aubé,1 Zeina Kaddaha,1 Serguei Marshansky,1 Pierre H Rompré,3 Vincent Jobin,1 Gilles J Lavigne1–4
1Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal (CHUM), Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada; 2Research Center, Sacre-Coeur Hospital, Montreal University, Montreal, QC, Canada; 3Faculty of Dentistry, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada; 4Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Correspondence: Alberto Herrero Babiloni
Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal, CEAMS, 5400 Boul Gouin O, Montreal QC H4J 1C5, Canada
Introduction: Portable monitoring (PM) is an alternative to laboratory polysomnography (PSG) for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, PM tends to underestimate the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), as it does not identify non-desaturating events associated with electroencephalographic (EEG) arousal. The objectives were to explore heart rate acceleration (HRa) and decrease in pulse transit time (PTT) as surrogates to EEG arousal for non-desaturating hypopnea and respiratory effort-related arousal (RERA), and to estimate cut-off values for their use with both total sleep time (TST), the standard method for PSG, and total recording time (TRT), the usual method for PM.
Methods: Twenty-four consecutive individuals with suspected OSA were studied with PSG. Calculated outcomes were: AHI, respiratory disturbance index with EEG arousal (RDIe) and autonomic arousal by HRa (RDI-HRa) and PTT decreases (RDI-PTT) at different time cut-offs. Using RDIe as reference, Bland Altman and intraclass coefficient of correlation (ICC) were used to calculate agreement between indexes, and receiver operating curves (ROC) for sensitivity/specificity of the different cut-offs.
Results: Autonomic arousals, limited to respiratory events, were present in 36% of non-desaturating hypopneas and 29% of RERAs. Using TST, RDI-HRa of 10 bpm (ICC= 0.89) and RDI-PTT with a decrease of −15 msec (ICC=0.90) agreed better with RDIe. With TRT, the RDI-HRa of 5 bpm agreed better with the RDIe (ICC=0.89). Bland–Altman plots showed mean differences of 1.53 between RDI-HRa10-TST and RDIe and 0.89 between RDI-HRa5-TRT and RDIe.
Conclusion: Autonomic arousals (HRa and PTT) may be a suitable proxy of EEG arousals associated with respiratory events, using both TST and TRT. Therefore, they could potentially help to capture borderline symptomatic patients and to monitor treatment outcomes.
Keywords: sleep apnea, polysomnography, portable monitoring, autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular system, severity of illness index
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