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Sleep Apnea Clinical Score, Berlin Questionnaire, or Epworth Sleepiness Scale: which is the best obstructive sleep apnea predictor in patients with COPD?

Authors Costa Faria A, Henrique da Costa C, Rufino R

Received 12 April 2015

Accepted for publication 11 June 2015

Published 25 August 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 275—281


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Anamelia Costa Faria, Cláudia Henrique da Costa, Rogério Rufino

Cardiopulmonology Department, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Introduction: The Sleep Apnea Clinical Score (SACS) and the Berlin Questionnaire (BQ) are used to predict the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is used to assess daytime sleepiness, a common OSA symptom. These clinical tools help prioritize individuals with the most severe illness regarding on whom polysomnography (PSG) should be performed. It is necessary to check the applicability of these tools in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study is to compare SACS, BQ, and ESS performance in patients with COPD.
Methods: The SACS, BQ, and ESS were applied to 91 patients with COPD. From this group, 24 underwent PSG. In this transversal study, these three tests were compared regarding their likelihood to predict OSA in patients with COPD using receiver-operating characteristic curve statistics.
Results: In this sample, 58 (63.7%) patients were men, and their mean age was 69.4±9.6 years. Fourteen patients (15.4%) had a high probability of OSA by SACS, 32 (32.5%) had a high probability by BQ, and 37 (40.7%) had excessive diurnal somnolence according to the ESS. From the 24 patients who underwent PSG, OSA diagnosis was confirmed in five (20.8%), according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria. BQ and ESS did not accurately predict OSA in this group of patients with COPD, with a receiver-operating characteristic curve area under the curves of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.329–0.745, P=0.75) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.47–0.860, P=0.10), respectively. SACS performance was significantly better, with an area under the curve of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.606–0.943, P=0.02).
Conclusion: SACS was better than BQ and ESS in predicting OSA in this group of patients with COPD.

Keywords: overlap syndrome, COPD, emphysema, questionnaire, polysomnography, diagnosis

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