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2018 Jul - Portable Sleep Monitoring for Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure

R. Nisha Aurora, MD, MHS, Susheel P. Patil, MD, PhD, Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD

Chest 2018;154(1):91–98


Sleep apnea is an underdiagnosed condition in patients with heart failure. Efficient identification of sleep apnea is needed, as treatment may improve heart failure–related outcomes. Currently, use of portable sleep monitoring in hospitalized patients and those at risk for central sleep apnea is discouraged. This study examined whether portable sleep monitoring with respiratory polygraphy can accurately diagnose sleep apnea in patients hospitalized with decompensated heart failure.


Hospitalized patients with decompensated heart failure underwent concurrent respiratory polygraphy and polysomnography. Both recordings were scored for obstructive and central disordered breathing events in a blinded fashion, using standard criteria, and the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was determined. Pearson’s correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine the concordance among the overall, obstructive, and central AHI values derived by respiratory polygraphy and polysomnography.


The sample consisted of 53 patients (47% women) with a mean age of 59.0 years. The correlation coefficient for the overall AHI from the two diagnostic methods was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.89-0.96). The average difference in AHI between the two methods was 3.6 events/h. Analyses of the central and obstructive AHI values showed strong concordance between the two methods, with correlation coefficients of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.96-0.99) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.84-0.95), respectively. Complete agreement in the classification of sleep apnea severity between the two methods was seen in 89% of the sample.


Portable sleep monitoring can accurately diagnose sleep apnea in hospitalized patients with heart failure and may promote early initiation of treatment.

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