A meta-analysis of clinical screening tests for obstructive sleep apnea

Anesthesiology. 2009 Apr;110(4):928-39. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31819c47b6.


The purpose of this meta-analysis is to compare clinical screening tests for obstructive sleep apnea and establish an evidence base for their preoperative use. Diagnostic odds ratios were used as summary measures of accuracy, and false-negative rates were used as measures of missed diagnosis with each screening test in this review. Metaregression revealed that clinical models, logarithmic equations, combined techniques, cephalometry, and morphometry are significant characteristics, whereas body mass index, history of hypertension, and nocturnal choking are significant test elements associated with higher diagnostic accuracy. Test accuracy in repeated validation studies of the same screening test is variable, suggesting an underlying heterogeneity in either the clinical presentation of obstructive sleep apnea or the measured clinical elements of these models. Based on the false-negative rates, it is likely that most of the clinical screening tests will miss a significant proportion of patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires