Assessment of automated analysis of portable oximetry as a screening test for moderate-to-severe sleep apnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Andrés-Blanco AM, Álvarez D, Crespo A, Arroyo CA, Cerezo-Hernández A, Gutiérrez-Tobal GC, Hornero R, Del Campo F. PLoS One. 2017 Nov 27;12(11).

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BACKGROUND: The coexistence of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) leads to increased morbidity and mortality. The development of home-based screening tests is essential to expedite diagnosis. Nevertheless, there is still very limited evidence on the effectiveness of portable monitoring to diagnose OSAS in patients with pulmonary comorbidities. OBJECTIVE: To assess the influence of suffering from COPD in the performance of an oximetry-based screening test for moderate-to-severe OSAS, both in the hospital and at home. METHODS: A total of 407 patients showing moderate-to-high clinical suspicion of OSAS were involved in the study. All subjects underwent (i) supervised portable oximetry simultaneously to in-hospital polysomnography (PSG) and (ii) unsupervised portable oximetry at home. A regression-based multilayer perceptron (MLP) artificial neural network (ANN) was trained to estimate the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) from portable oximetry recordings. Two independent validation datasets were analyzed: COPD versus non-COPD. RESULTS: The portable oximetry-based MLP ANN reached similar intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) values between the estimated AHI and the actual AHI for the non-COPD and the COPD groups either in the hospital (non-COPD: 0.937, 0.909-0.956 CI95%; COPD: 0.936, 0.899-0.960 CI95%) and at home (non-COPD: 0.731, 0.631-0.808 CI95%; COPD: 0.788, 0.678-0.864 CI95%). Regarding the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), no statistically significant differences (p >0.01) between COPD and non-COPD groups were found in both settings, particularly for severe OSAS (AHI ≥30 events/h): 0.97 (0.92-0.99 CI95%) non-COPD vs. 0.98 (0.92-1.0 CI95%) COPD in the hospital, and 0.87 (0.79-0.92 CI95%) non-COPD vs. 0.86 (0.75-0.93 CI95%) COPD at home. CONCLUSION: The agreement and the diagnostic performance of the estimated AHI from automated analysis of portable oximetry were similar regardless of the presence of COPD both in-lab and at-home. Particularly, portable oximetry could be used as an abbreviated screening test for moderate-to-severe OSAS in patients with COPD.