Study objectives: To compare a clinical pathway using portable monitoring (PM) for diagnosis and unattended autotitrating positive airway pressure (APAP) for selecting an effective continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) with another pathway using polysomnography (PSG) for diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Design: Randomized parallel group
Setting: Veterans Administration Medical Center
Patients: 106 patients with daytime sleepiness and a high likelihood of having OSA MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: The AHI in the PM-APAP group was 29.2 +/- 2.3/h and in the PSG group was 36.8 +/- 4.8/h (P= NS). Patients with an AHI > or = 5 were offered CPAP treatment. Those accepting treatment (PM-APAP 45, PSG 43) were begun on CPAP using identical devices at similar mean pressures (11.2 +/- 0.4 versus 10.9 +/- 0.5 cm H2O). At a clinic visit 6 weeks after starting CPAP, 40 patients in the PM-APAP group (78.4% of those with OSA and 88.8% started on CPAP) and 39 in the PSG arm (81.2% of those with OSA and 90.6% of those started on CPAP) were using CPAP treatment (P = NS). The mean nightly adherence (PM-APAP: 5.20 +/- 0.28 versus PSG: 5.25 +/- 0.38 h/night), decrease in Epworth Sleepiness Scale score (-6.50 +/- 0.71 versus -6.97 +/- 0.73), improvement in the global Functional Outcome of Sleep Questionnaire score (3.10 +/- 0.05 versus 3.31 +/- 0.52), and CPAP satisfaction did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions: A clinical pathway utilizing PM and APAP titration resulted in CPAP adherence and clinical outcomes similar to one using PSG.