Noninferiority of functional outcome in ambulatory management of obstructive sleep apnea

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 May 1;183(9):1238-44. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201011-1770OC. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


Rationale: Home portable monitor testing is increasingly being used to diagnose patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and to initiate them on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.

Objectives: To compare functional outcome and treatment adherence in patients who receive ambulatory versus in-laboratory testing for OSA.

Methods: Veterans with suspected OSA were randomized to either home testing or standard in-laboratory testing. Home testing consisted of a type 3 portable monitor recording followed by at least three nights using an automatically adjusting positive airway pressure apparatus. Participants diagnosed with OSA were treated with CPAP for 3 months.

Measurements and main results: We measured the change in Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire score, with an a priori noninferiority delta of -1, and the mean daily hours of objectively measured CPAP adherence, with an a priori noninferiority delta of -0.75 hour/day. Of the 296 subjects enrolled, 260 (88%) were diagnosed with OSA, and 213 (75%) were initiated on CPAP. Mean ± SD functional outcome score improved 1.74 ± 2.81 in the home group (P < 0.001) and 1.85 ± 2.46 in the in-laboratory group (P < 0.0001). The lower bound of the one-sided 95% noninferiority confidence interval was -0.54. Mean ± SD hours of daily CPAP adherence were 3.5 ± 2.5 hours/day in the home group and 2.9 ± 2.3 hours/day in the in-laboratory group (P = 0.08). The lower bound of the one-sided 95% noninferiority confidence interval was 0.03.

Conclusions: Functional outcome and treatment adherence in patients evaluated according to a home testing algorithm is not clinically inferior to that in patients receiving standard in-laboratory polysomnography.

Trial registration: NCT00880165.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Philadelphia
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data